June 1, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: Malik Criner, North Vermillion High School

Malik Criner is a 6’0 185lb Running Back from North Vermillion High School in Maurice, LA. Malik is a gifted athlete and is one of those type of star backs any college coach would love to have on their team. Played Wide Receiver his Freshmen and Sophomore seasons, however made the transfer to running back before the start of his Junior season. An explosive running back that is a threat on any given down to break open a big play with his top notch speed. Excellent vision when running the ball to read the defenders and hit the right gaps. Has great size and strength, making defenders miss consistently and pushes for yards after contact. An elusive and powerful running back who in his junior season rushed for 1,500 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns. In 2017, was selected to 1st Team All District/ All Parish RB and 2nd Team All Acadiana ATH. Malik is a complete back and ready for the next level. A natural playmaker every time he touches the ball, Malik will be looking to lead his team to a successful 2018 season and a deep playoff run.


Height: 6’0

Weight: 185

Bench: 190

Squat: 420

40: 4.5









When did you start playing football?

Second grade in Gueydan, Louisiana

Who do you model your gameplay after?

Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith because I feel we run the ball the same. I got a lot of heart just like they do. I believe nobody is going to take me down.

Growing up, did you play any other sports?

I played basketball, baseball, and ran track. I still play basketball as a point guard and shooting guard. I also still run track.

What are you most motivated by?

My teammates motivate me because I know we got each other’s backs. My coaches and parents also motivate me because they are always trying to get me better and doing everything for me.

What attributes do you possess that make you a good teammate?

I am the person that picks my teammates back up when they’re down. I usually teach and show them how the plays work if maybe they don’t understand.

What area of your game would you like to improve on this off season?

Work on my speed and get down to a 4.4. Working on my balance and reaction. Just trying to get bigger and faster.

What would college coaches be most impressed with about you?

My hands because I can catch the ball really well and my athleticism. Vertical is a 35 so I can go up and get jump balls. I have a burst of speed, almost like a second gear and I don’t think anyone can stop me one on one.

What are your expectations for next season?

I want our team to be the best we can possibly be. I want to be district champs, be called the best team in the Acadiana area, and win state.

What would you say are your biggest accomplishments?

Rushing for 1500 yards junior season and being called one of the best players in Acadiana. Also being named Athlete of the Year in the parish.

What have your learned about yourself while playing football?

It has just taught me how to be committed to everything I do. Rather it’s on the football field, in the classroom, doing chores, or helping my family. Really it has taught me how to be a better person in life.

What would you consider your biggest strengths as a football player?

My speed, hand and footwork, and my reaction time. I’m really explosive coming off routes and coming off the line.

What would your coach say about you?

He would say I’m a hard worker in every aspect of my life. I’m a hustler and I don’t give up.