WARNER ROBINS -- Willie Jordan had size, standing about 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds.
His style was simple. Take the handoff and power between the tackles, bouncing off whatever bodies were in the way.
And he was outgoing, a twinkle in his eye and ready to talk at the drop of a “Hey, how’s it ...”
Jordan’s impact on Northside’s run to the GHSA Class AAAAA title last year is open to little interpretation or analysis. It was huge. With a green sophomore quarterback taking over days before the opener, Jordan’s shoulders took on a little more, and he thrived.
Those shoulders are gone, now in uniform at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Also gone is the Eagles’ second-best non-quarterback rushing threat, H-back T.J. Anderson, who ran 85 times for 594 yards and an impressive 11 touchdowns.
So erase 407 carries, 2,840 rushing yards and 42 rushing touchdowns from the Northside scouting report for 2015.
And meet Desean Dinkins, who will be in the backfield Friday night when the defending champion and preseason No. 1 in Class AAAAA Eagles open the season at North Cobb in Kennesaw.
He doesn’t have Jordan’s size, carrying about 30 fewer pounds on a 5-10 frame. Nor does he have Jordan’s effusiveness, going about his business in a quiet way.
Defenses won’t see a drastic change in Northside’s power offense with a new back behind quarterback Tobias Oliver. But they will see change.
“Desean, he can get outside and go,” said Oliver, Northside’s No. 2 rusher a year ago with 906 yards and 10 touchdowns on 168 carries. “(Defenses) can’t just put eight in the box and stop the run. Desean is good outside.”
The numbers Jordan took with him were pretty staggering.
His 322 carries in 2014 accounted for 42.4 percent of the Eagles’ total. The 2,246 yards? More than 45 percent. And the 31 rushing touchdowns? A dazzling 52 percent.
In two final two seasons, Jordan ran 461 times for 3,313 yards and 50 touchdowns.
By comparison, Dinkins enters his first start with 55 carries for 459 yards and a touchdown.
“Obviously, I think Willie was a complete back,” Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. “But Desean just gives you a little more of that outside game as well, not so much just between the tackles.”
Dinkins hasn’t taken the pounding yet of a full-time starter -- his season high in carries in a single game is eight -- and maybe able to avoid a little of that with his style.
The difference also might benefit a Northside offensive line that is a work in progress after losing most of its starters, including Quentin Stanford and Brandon Sandifer, who had huge frames, versatility and experience.
“One this is, early on, try to make that first guy miss,” Kinsler said. “He has that little bit of shiftiness about him, he can make the first guy miss.
“And that’s going to be important as we continue to mature up front. He understands that.”
Not that the Eagles will open up the passing game -- Kinsler said a few weeks ago, “We threw nine a game last year; we might throw 10 a game this year” -- but Dinkins is also a threat out of the backfield.
He had 10 catches for 126 yards last season, not far behind team leader Jordan (15-224).
“Desean, I think he’s got the best hands on the team,” Oliver said. “I think he has the best hands.”
Dinkins is more compact than Jordan but packs in the strength as one of the Eagles’ top iron man competitors and has one of the top bench press marks on the team.
“Desean has some physicality about him,” Kinsler said. “He can run behind his shoulders, between the tackles.”
Then there’s that speed, about a 4.5 in the 40.
“He can run,” Oliver said. “But when it comes to powerful, he also has that, too.”
Dinkins’ top game in yards last year was against Greenbrier, when he ran four times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Granted, the vast majority came on one play, but it was a play that indicates what Dinkins brings to the tab.
“Corvette,” he said, naming the play. “A shuffle play, designed to go to the left side.”
He took off for a 64-yard touchdown. It was called back.
Basically same play, same result, 10 more yards.
“I did a cutback,” said Dinkins, who expects to be able to do the same this season. “I ran track last year. They wanted me to work on speed and be faster.”
Dinkins said nerves get him on and off, but they don’t last. And how about this Friday night, considering who he’s replacing and what pressure will be on him to eliminate concerns?
“I think I’ll be all right,” he said. “I’m the starting running back now.”