High School Sports

Why this Hillside star and Oregon football recruit has been on the sideline

Jamal Currie-Elliott (5) runs for extra yards during his senior season at Hillside High School in Durham. Currie-Elliott left Oregon in the spring and will play for North Carolina Central this season.
Jamal Currie-Elliott (5) runs for extra yards during his senior season at Hillside High School in Durham. Currie-Elliott left Oregon in the spring and will play for North Carolina Central this season. The Herald-Sun | Bernard Thomas

Hillside running back Jamal Currie-Elliott will be spending more time on the sideline than in the lineup for the rest of the season.

He is sidelined for up two months with a sports hernia injury, according to Hillside coach Ray Harrison.

Currie-Elliott is committed to Oregon and plans to enroll there in January.

“They said it could be six to eight weeks but we’re going to be extra careful with him,” Harrison said. “He has a life after high school football. We want him to be back to 100 percent when he heads to Oregon in January.”

Currie-Elliott was in and out of the lineup the last couple of weeks as they tried to figure out his nagging condition, Harrison said.

“We’ve lost one of the best backs in the area, if not the state,” Harrison said. “It’s just one of those things. We’re going to have to have guys step up and be ready play.”

Junior Isiah Hunter likely will step in and replace Currie-Elliott, according to Harrison. Hunter started last season while Currie-Elliott attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida during the first month of the season. But Hunter, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last season, is still waiting for medical clearance to join the team, Harrison said. He said Hunter should be cleared in time to play in Hillside’s next game, Oct. 6, when it hosts Southern.

Currie-Elliott, who is one of the most dynamic running backs in the area, returned to Hillside (2-3, 1-0 Big Eight) during the 2016 season and finished with nine touchdowns in five games. He burst on on the scene as a freshman at Hillside and has been one of the leading ground gainers for the Hornets during his career at Hillside. He was an All-Pac-6 selection in each of his first three seasons.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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