Before the start of last season, Eastern Regional (Voorhees, NJ) Head Coach Dan Spittal had one big need for his offense – a tailback. Enter 5-9, 180 pound Jahre Cheeseman , a player who transferred from California before the start of his sophomore season in 2002.
Cheeseman’s 4.37 40 speed (which was hand-timed by the Eastern Regional coaches) and tough running style were exactly what Spittal’s offense needed. The talented tailback would help Eastern Regional capture a state championship.
“We were looking for a running back and decided to put Jahre in there for the first game,” Spittal said. “The first game he rushed for 140 yards and the rest is history. He plays corner too, but Jahre was a big cog in our offense last season. He was the single back in our four wide receiver offense. He rushed for 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns on a state championship team. He earned second-team all-South Jersey by the Philadelphia Inquirer and first-team all-group 4.”
Though he is a smaller running back, Cheeseman plays very tough. His speed, quickness, and athleticism (32-inch vertical) combined with tough running made him an especially tough back to take down last season.
“I describe him as a kid who weighs 180 pounds who runs like he’s 200 [pounds],” Spittal said. “He’s very difficult to bring down. He can break the big play. He’s a big play guy. We get the ball in his hands whenever we can.”
Division I-A programs certainly noticed his play last year. Currently, Cheeseman boasts 17 scholarship offers, including one from the University of Minnesota earlier this week. He believes his speed to be his top strength on the gridiron. A humble personality, he was quick to give credit to his teammates for last season’s performance.
“A lot of credit goes to the big guys on the line,” Cheeseman said. “It wasn’t as hard because of them. I used their talent and good blocking and made the most of it. [As a running back,] my speed and quickness are probably the best strengths.
“My strength at cornerback is probably my footwork. I have the speed to keep up with the receiver’s.”
Most of the 17 schools who have offered are recruiting Cheeseman as an athlete. Coach Spittal believes his star will likely either play running back or cornerback on the next level and will...
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