The Courier-Post will highlight an area football player to watch this upcoming season with kickoff rapidly approaching.

Avery Epperson

School: Mark Twain

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker/running back

Height: 5-10

Weight: 205

The stats: Team-high 136 tackles, including 82 solo and five for loss. Rushed for 390 yards on 102 carries and nine touchdowns.

Why watch: Epperson could be one of the best tacklers in the area this fall after leading the Tigers in tackles last year. He averaged 12.4 tackles per game, and only once did he have less than 10 tackles in a game. His season high was 17 in the opener against Louisiana.

While his value is highest on defense, he also adds depth to the running game as he ran for more than 50 yards three times last year.