Herald-Whig

Legacy like no other: Brock wants to be remembered for more than rushing stats

Quincy High School's Jirehl Brock poses for a photo in the Blue Devil locker room at Flinn Stadium on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Brock se the QHS single season rushing record this season and became the fourth player in program history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 2, 2017 1:40 pm Updated: Dec. 2, 2017 11:42 pm

QUINCY -- Jirehl Brock's legacy began the night he dashed, darted and ran through the Rock Island football team as a sophomore.

His legacy went viral the night the Quincy High School junior running back simply ran over the Rocks.

It happened September 27 at Almquist Field in Rock Island. On a play designed to be run off left tackle, Brock burst into the open field, did a jump cut to get past the first defender, sprinted down the left sideline and got the attention of everyone for how he finished the run.

Instead of running out of bounds, Brock ran at Rock Island defensive back Michail Sudberry, delivering a hit with enough force to knock off Sudberry's helmet. The video of the play hit Twitter that night and elicited a "Wow!" response from Jarrett Payton, a former Canadian Football League running back and the son of Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, along with countless others.

ESPN showed the highlight on SportsCenter. USA Today and the Bleacher Report obtained the video from KWQC-TV weekend sports reporter Andrew Ward and posted it to their websites.

The video was viewed more than 1 million times in less than 48 hours.

That's surreal, especially for a 17-year-old learning what it's like to be in the limelight.

"It was always something I wanted to happen and something I wished would happen, but I never actually thought it would," Brock said of seeing himself on ESPN. "So I thought it was pretty cool, but I also wanted to be humble about it.

"Everybody heard about it. Everybody saw it. To me, it was just something that didn't really matter that much. I had to keep working."

Brock doesn't want his legacy to one hit, one game or one moment.

The 2017 Herald-Whig Player of the Year wants to be remembered as part of the team that changed the Blue Devils' standard of success.

In two seasons of varsity football, Brock has compiled an impressive list of individual accomplishments. He rushed for a school-record 304 yards and six touchdowns against Rock Island in 2016. He set a single-season school record with 1,588 yards rushing this fall. His 52 career touchdowns are already a program record.

Along the way, he's helped the Blue Devils go 14-6 overall, 9-1 in Western Big Six Conference play and reach the playoffs twice. Neither time did the Blue Devils advance past the first round.

Brock is well aware the Blue Devils have won one playoff game in school history. He wants to do more.

"If we start it now, getting further in the playoffs, maybe that continues and the program starts getting better and better," Brock said. "I can say our class was a big part of making it far in the playoffs and leaving a legacy here.

"Not even an individual legacy, but doing it as a team. It's about leaving something here that we can all look back on and be like, 'Yeah, that was us.'"

 

JIREHL BROCK: BY THE NUMBERS

1,588 -- Yards rushing in 2017, setting the single-season school record

577 -- Yards needed to break Malique Robbins' career rushing record

100 -- Yards of the longest interception return for a touchdown in QHS history

52 -- Career touchdowns, which is the program record

23 -- Touchdowns scored in 2017, the third most in a single season in QHS history (he owns the record with 29)

4 -- Players in QHS history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons

 

PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

2017 -- Jirehl Brock, Quincy

2016 -- Brodie Dunker, Unity

2015 -- Dylan Powell, Hannibal

2014 -- Trace Windsor, South Shelby

2013 -- Malik Bondon, Quincy

2012 -- Dalton Heubner, Central

2011 -- Nathan Knuffman, Central

2010 -- Daniel Weiman, QND

2009 -- Mat Sims, Hannibal

2008 -- Javis Vineyard, Clark County

2007 -- Ethan Harris, South Shelby

2006 -- Andrew Bergeson, Hannibal

2005 -- Tony Hall, South Shelby

2004 -- Trevor Frericks, QND

2003 -- Ashton Gronewold, Carthage

2002 -- Clint Carroz, Mark Twain

2001 -- Wentric Williams, Hannibal

2000 -- Wyatt Green, Carthage

1999 -- Kyle Venvertloh, QND

1998 -- Luke Wessel, Carthage

1997 -- Grant Thornburg, Palmyra

1996 -- Antonio McGruder, Hannibal

1995 -- Dan Griffard, QND

1994 -- Aaron Crowe, Monroe City

1993 -- Santee Nixon, Quincy

1992 -- Tom Hart, Pittsfield

1991 -- Rob Munson, Hamilton

1990 -- Larry McFall, Hannibal

1989 -- Mike Washington, Monroe City

1988 -- Mike Washington, Monroe City

1987 -- Jerry McBride, Hannibal

1986 -- Eric Bush, Quincy

1985 -- Paul Petty, Pittsfield

1984 -- Bill Hunter, Carthage

1983 -- Eric Kuhlman, QND

1982 -- Brian Noble, Pittsfield

1981 -- Scott Sanderson, Pittsfield

1980 -- Barry Moore, QND

1979 -- Brad Griffie, Hannibal

1978 -- Grant Smith, Pittsfield

1977 -- Jeff Wellman, QND