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Prospect of speed

Anyone witness to Fargo South senior running back Brandon Jemison sprinting on the Fargodome turf can attest to one certainty: The guy is fast. But, to hear teammate Lucas Seltvedt tell the story, Jemison immediately belongs at a higher level of ...

Brandon Jemison

Anyone witness to Fargo South senior running back Brandon Jemison sprinting on the Fargodome turf can attest to one certainty: The guy is fast.

But, to hear teammate Lucas Seltvedt tell the story, Jemison immediately belongs at a higher level of competition.

"I think he ran a 4.3 (40-yard dash) once - a high 4.3," said Seltvedt, Jemison's good friend and the Bruins' starting fullback. "He's faster than almost anyone in the state. ... It was on our testing day. I wasn't outside when he was running it, but I heard about it."

To put Seltvedt's story in perspective, former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden ran a 4.33 at last year's NFL combine. He was selected fourth overall in 2008 by the Oakland Raiders.

So Seltvedt is likely mistaken. The eye-popping time that made its way from the practice field to Seltvedt in the South weight room on testing day this year is more legend that reality.

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Even Jemison said he doesn't buy it. But the fact that Seltvedt believes it could happen illustrates the point: The guy IS fast.

"I would say his speed and his knowledge of the game are his two biggest strengths," South coach Kevin Feeney said. "... Whoever is lucky enough to get him to play college football is going to get a good one. He's only going to get bigger and better."

Jemison stepping into the role of starting running back this year with no hesitation, undaunted by the success of former teammates Catlin Solum and Josh Horner.

Solum and Horner helped South to state titles before moving on to FCS Division I college football.

In Jemison's mind, it was just his turn. Just as it was for Horner when Solum left for the University of North Dakota in 2007.

However, Jemison's first start this season was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Jemison ran 9 times for 23 yards in a 40-6 loss against Edina that ended South's 24-game winning streak.

The struggles didn't last long.

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Jemison has averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game since the season opener.

He's almost single-handedly taken over several games.

Against then No. 4-ranked West Fargo, Jemison ran for 246 yards and scored a touchdown on a 70-yard return of a free kick to help South to a 35-26 comeback win.

He had 143 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the Bruins capture the Eastern Dakota Conference title with a victory last week against Fargo North.

"I think it's because we work that much harder than any other team," said Jemison, who is weighing offers to play college football from North Dakota State and North Dakota. "That just comes up and shows during the game."

Jemison heaps praise on Bruins offensive linemen Brett Baune, Matt Nagel, Gerad Fugelberg, Alex Messmer, Tyler Buerkle and Tom Knowlton.

Jemison and Seltvedt this year began a tradition of the backs and linemen going out for dinner the night before a game.

Where do they go?

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"Anywhere the big guys want," Jemison said.

The close relationship with South's running backs and line has helped keep the offense rolling, Jemison said.

Jemison's speed has also helped limit big plays on defense.

An all-state linebacker as a junior, Jemison is rarely beaten to the outside and he possesses the ability to track down any player who gets by him.

He's the kind of triple threat (offense, defense, special teams) that has South poised for another long run through the playoffs. The postseason begins this week.

"He's a great open field tackler," said Feeney, whose Bruins have earned three of the last four Class 3A state titles in North Dakota. "It's just key. The (opposing) offense thinks its going to get a big play and Brandon steps up and wraps him up for a 3 yard gain. If you have a guy like Brandon, you are going to have a pretty darn good football team."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler's blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com

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