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This is Part 7 in our continuing blog series, which looks at 12 players to watch during the upcoming YAIAA football season. A reminder, there is one major change from last year's list: In an effort to profile a wider range of teams, I'm only picking one player from each school for the list.

Previous players

RB Alex Cooley, Eastern York

RB/OLB Marquis Fells, Central York

QB James Dougherty, York Catholic

C/DT Brody Kern, West YorkQB Dustin Crouse, Littlestown

RB Dillon Thomas, South Western

WR/RB Jaime Nixon-Alark

York Suburban, Sr.

2011 stats: 75 carries, 731 yards, 9.75, 9 TDs; 17 receptions, 344 yards, 20.2 avg., 5 TDs

Good luck finding a player in the YAIAA this season with more straight-line speed than Nixon-Alark. The Trojans senior is a big play waiting to happen, and it’s little wonder why. With a 40-time that can touch 4.4 seconds, Nixon-Alark is a ghost once he hits the open field. 

“He can fly,” Suburban coach Brian Freed said. “He’s the fastest straight-ahead runner I’ve ever coached.”

Despite joining the Trojans late last summer (he moved to the area from Baltimore), Nixon-Alark still led the team in both rushing and receiving. He averaged an incredible 11.7 yards per touch on offense. 

This season, Nixon-Alark figures to maintain the same hybrid receiver/running back role in York Suburban’s offense. He’ll have plenty of weapons around him, along with a rapidly improving quarterback in Marquese Dillon. Still, Nixon-Alark will be the one giving opposing coaches nightmares. 

“His role is probably going to do nothing but expand,” Freed said. 

Other Trojans to watch:

Dillon, a rising senior, will take over the quarterback duties full-time after splitting the gig with Kris Reinhold last season. Dillon presents an intriguing blend of speed -- he ran for 589 yards and a team-best 10 TDs last season -- to go along with a solid arm and improving command of the huddle. "The kid's got it all," Freed said. "He’s working big time. He’s really developing into that leader that we want." ... Isaiah Randall grew into the tailback role last season (466 yards, 4.9 avg.) and should see the ball even more this year. ... Freed is excited about the progress of junior lineman Matt Kauffman, who started last season and has added some size to his 6-foot-4 frame.

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