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Prep football: Herriman’s Farmer tearing up the field (with video)

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Herriman High School Running back Brandon Farmer, at practice, Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

By Anthony Cusumano

Special to The Tribune

First published Oct 30 2013 10:20PM
Updated Feb 14, 2014 11:37PM

Herriman • For such a hard-nosed football player who leaves everything on the field, Herriman’s Brandon Farmer sure doesn’t act the part off the gridiron.

In fact, he might be the most unassuming athlete around.

"Last year I met him and I didn’t believe that he was the explosive young man everyone talked about, just seeing him in street clothes," Herriman coach Dustin Pearce said. "It became evident really quick what kind of an athlete he was. He never wants the credit. He just wants to win and to make his teammates better."

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior might not look the part, but he has become one of the top rushers in the state. Heading into Friday’s Class 5A playoff opener against Layton, Farmer has rushed for 1,430 yards on 158 carries with 13 touchdowns.

Whether it be running past would-be tacklers or fighting for extra yardage, Farmer is the type of playmaker and momentum shifter coaches love.

"I love this team, probably the linemen the most," Farmer said. "They block for me and are a great group of kids. They’ve made my senior year very good. They’re selfless. They don’t care that I get all the attention."

Farmer burst onto the scene last season in a tandem with Francis Bernard, who now is at BYU. Despite sharing time, Farmer still led the team in rushing, totaling 1,007 yards and seven touchdowns on just 82 carries.

"He started out in the shadow of Francis, but when all was said and done, he surpassed him," Pearce said. "He’s an explosive runner and is a perfect fit for this offense. He’s got great vision and a feel for the game. He understands that without the line blocking in front of him, none of it would happen."

Farmer has rushed for more than 100 yards in all but one of the nine games he has played. Bingham limited him to 85 yards, but he still scored a touchdown.

The way he sees it, he’s just playing the game he loves with his friends.

"It’s almost a blessing," said Farmer, who answers every question with "Yes, sir."

"A lot of kids would kill to play football, and it’s great that I can. I try to get downhill as fast as I can and get a straight line to the end zone."

Farmer’s speed is perhaps most noticeable. He was timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Utah State this summer. The Aggies, in fact, are actively recruiting Farmer along with Southern Utah and the University of Utah.

He also has excelled on special teams with a handful of return touchdowns, including a punt against Pleasant Grove in Week 10.

"In my opinion, he’s one of the most explosive players in the state," Pearce said. "I wouldn’t trade him for anyone I’ve seen this year. He eats, drinks and sleeps Herriman. He loves the school, the community and the team."

Farmer, who has rushed for 2,517 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career, has both short- and long-term goals in mind for the Mustangs.

"We want to start a tradition of going deeper into the playoffs to where we expect that," Farmer, 17, said. "We expect ourselves to set the bar high."

The Mustangs host Layton in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs Friday.

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