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2008 Miami-Dade High School Football Preview
Gore vs. Gore
RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Columbus running back Jakhari Gore hopes to eclipse several county rushing records held by his cousin, former UM and Coral Gables running back Frank Gore. C.W. GRIFFIN / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Another member of the Gore family says he's ready to break the Miami-Dade County rushing record.

"My goals this year are to go undefeated and break my cousin's records," said Columbus junior tailback Jakhari Gore.

His cousin, former University of Miami running back Frank Gore, broke the county's single-season records for rushing yards (2,953) and touchdowns (38) in a season and in a game (419) during his senior season at Coral Gables in 2000.

He was also the NFC rushing leader in 2006 with the San Francisco 49ers.

Jakhari Gore (5-10, 175) projects as one of the state's top prospects for 2010.

While Gore is constantly asked if he will follow his cousin's footsteps and sign with UM in 2010, he said he is keeping his options open.

"UM's definitely one of the schools I'm looking at," Gore said. "But I have a few more that have contacted me like UF, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Ohio State. Right now, I'm just getting ready to get the ball and run."

As a sophomore, Gore ran for more than 1,000 yards while splitting carries with now-graduated Jaren Jones.

But even getting close to Frank's milestone has been difficult for Dade's best backs the past eight years. The closest was former Northwestern tailback Antwain Easterling's 2,503 yards in 2006. No running back had 2,000 yards in 2007. Gore plans to reach it by the time he graduates.

"I really believe I can run for over 1,700 this year, which is what Frank had his junior year," Gore said. "Then . . . I'll challenge the big one."

Columbus coach Chris Merritt believes Gore is ready for a breakout season.

"[Gore]'s getting bigger and stronger," Merritt said. "Some people forget he was a 150-pound sophomore last year . . . The statistic I point out is his average [10 yards per carry]. It's his time. It's his chance to carry the load."

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