One of the top returning tailbacks within the state of Washington this fall will be Gig Harbor’s Adrian Valona who had a big junior season and hopes to be even better as a senior.
“I’m not the fastest guy, but one thing that I learned from the Barton coaches, when we were talking about technique and stuff like that, he said you don’t need to be the fastest guy, but if you have good technique, then it doesn’t really matter,” Valona told Northwest Elite Index recently. “I know it sounds sorta typical, but I like to model my game after Marshawn Lynch and Ameer Abdullah.
“I’m not saying I am as good as they are, but neither one of them is the biggest or the fastest guy, but they are strong and their technique is perfect and that has really made a difference for them.
“I also don’t go down with the first hit. I get most of my yards after contact. We don’t keep stats on it, but if you watch my film, I think you will see a guy who isn’t easy to bring down and I just get better with the more contact I get.”
As a junior last fall, while helping to lead the Tides to a 9-2 record, Valona totaled 1,200 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns while also hauling in eight receptions for 152 yards and two scores.
With his compact frame (5’8, 195), good vision and toughness, Valona is drawing some interest from a handful of schools, but the hope is with good camp performances this summer, that he will see things pick up.
“Carroll College, Savannah State and Northern Arizona have all made contact with me,” Valona noted. “I’m heading to camp at Montana and they seem to like me. I will be there for their three-day camp and I had a friend who went last year and he did well and they offered, so I am hoping I have the same thing happen.
“I’m also going to go to the PLU camp and the Northwest Elite Camp on June 5th (at Lynnwood High School).”
In addition to his skills on the football field, Valona also played lacrosse, but he decided to not play this year so as to concentrate on getting ready for his senior season of football.
“I liked it a lot, but I’m taking all advanced classes and I wanted to focus on that plus I also needed to get in the weight room and get stronger,” Valona said.
We will continue to keep track of Valona as he works his way through the recruiting process and as he prepares for his senior season and we will update news on him as it happens.