Anthony Enos' days as a linebacker were thankfully short.
In 2007, Enos was a freshman at Cane Bay High School. His position coach, Russell Zehr, liked Enos' heart and hustle. But his athleticism and tackling ability came up short.
"After that second day of practice, I asked coach (Jeff) Cruce if he wanted to give him a try at running back," Zehr said. "Going into the ninth grade, Anthony hadn't played a lot of football and he was raw. Part of our job as coaches is getting the kids to play in the right position. Looking back, it was a gamble. But today, I'm glad he's running the football rather than chasing people down."
Today, Enos is a 5-8, 175-pound senior who has speed to get to the outside and strength to run up the middle. He leads the Lowcountry with 1,665 yards on 265 carries and has 23 touchdowns heading into tonight's Class AAA second- round playoff game at Marlboro County. He turned out to be one of the best running backs in the state, and has been selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game on Dec. 10 at Doug Shaw Stadium in Myrtle Beach.
Cruce, who was coach at Cane Bay from 2007-10, is now the head coach at Berkeley. He will coach his former player and the South team in the all-star game.
Zehr was promoted to head coach of the Cobras after serving three years under Cruce. He's watched Enos grow and mature every year.
"I was watching video of last year's game against Marlboro County, and Anthony isn't the same player," Zehr said. "Every year, he's gotten a little stronger and a little faster. I'm excited he's getting a chance to play in the North-South Game. He's proof that hard work pays off. He's proof that if you rely on your teammates the right way and work hard, you will go far."
Enos wasn't upset about moving to offense.
"I knew I had to work on my speed," Enos said. "I knew I had to develop that vision to be able to read blocks. In the offseason -- I don't like bragging -- I was in the weight room every day. I was in there even when Coach Cruce wasn't there. I knew I had to work hard if I wanted to get better."
Enos is getting stronger when many running backs start to show wear and tear because of a long season.
On Oct. 14, he set a school record with 246 yards rushing in a 37-19 victory over Hilton Head.
Two weeks ago, Enos touched the ball 17 times in a 19-play game-deciding drive, scoring on a 1-yard run with 4:18 left in the game to lead Cane Bay to a 19-15 victory over Berkeley. He finished with 147 yards and two TDs on 37 rushes.
Last week, he was just as impressive as Cane Bay won its eighth game, a school record, with a 42-6 decision over Wilson. Enos rushed for 245 yards and three scores on 34 carries.
"It's great to have a school record, but I want to win," Enos said. "Winning a game is something the entire team can celebrate."
Follow Phil Bowman on Twitter at @pandcphil.