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NEXT MAN UP: Kenai Grier takes charge of Eastside Eagles football running back corps
Grier Headshot

Following the departure of star running back Dallas Johnson a season ago, Eastside will look to multiple guys to help fill  the hole left by the Eagles’ all-time rushing leader.

After the end of his senior season and his commitment to play football for Morehouse College, Johnson set the precedent for other running backs to follow.

Head coach Jay Cawthon made sure to express that the run game will be what it has always been as they look to stick with a running back-by-committee approach. 

Last season, Johnson carried the bulk of the run game while Kenai Grier offered valuable production with his speed and skillset in the receiving game and his ability to block.

Now that Johnson is gone, Grier will be able to take the main role as the No. 1 guy in the running game.

“It is a lot of responsibility,” Grier said. “I have the whole offense on my back, and they look up to me since I am a captain this year.”

With Grier being the featured back in the ground game for the Eagles, Cawthon is excited about the offense’s potential in 2022.

“Kenai is the leader in that group,” Cawthon said. “With him being a three-year starter and even playing some as a freshman, he is definitely the leader.”

“I feel good about the [running back room],” Cawthon said. “It is a chance for someone to step up because you are always coaching next year’s team. It is going to be a growing process for us.”

Cawthon also spoke highly of all three guys in the running back room, but it was evident that Grier will be who Cawthon and the rest of the team will look towards to be the game changer.

“I feel like our offense is going to be really good this year,” Grier said. “We just need to step it up on the [offensive line], but besides that we will be good.”

Grier will be assisted by Jayden Barr and DJ Henderson in the backfield to complete the running back committee for the Eagles in 2022. 

“They have good skillsets. They all might not have the breakaway speed like we had with Dallas, but Kenai can go,” Cawthon said. “All of them are five-tool ballplayers. They all can run, they all can catch, they all can block. I feel good about them.”