2012 College Football Recruiting Rankings: RBs

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Who signed the top high school running backs in the nation in the 2012 class?

<p> 2012 Positional Recruiting Rankings: RBs</p>

- by Braden Gall (@BradenGall on twitter)

The next batch of in-coming college football All-Americans have inked their respective letters of intent. Recruiting is the life blood of the greatest sport on the planet, and, while coaching stills plays the biggest role in winning a championship, having better players can go a long way to earning a trip to the BCS.

Recruiting is an inexact science by definition. It is virtually impossible to accurately peg the mental make-up of any 17-year old child -- much less high-profile, over-coddled 17-year-old athletes. But team recruiting rankings offer the best indication of which team has the best ingredients each coach has to work with each season.

Related: Athlon's Top 25 Recruiting Classes of 2012

The running back position might be the single easiest position on the football field to transition from high school to college. Marcus Lattimore, DeAnthony Thomas and others have proven that running in and around defenders is as much instinct as it is preperation. Learning blocking schemes and blitz pick-ups are major areas of work for most incoming freshman, but once the ball is in hand, it's all natural ability.

Here are the best incoming freshman running backs in the nation:

  Name HT WT Hometown AC100 College
1. Jonathan Gray 5'11" 202 Aledo, TX No. 7 Texas
2. Keith Marshall 5'11" 190 Raleigh, NC No. 16 Georgia
3. Trey Williams 5'8" 175 Spring, TX No. 19 Texas A&M
4. T.J. Yeldon 6'2" 210 Daphne, AL No. 32 Alabama
5. Rushel Shell 6'1" 210 Aliquippa, PA No. 33 Pitt
6. Randy Johnson 5'9" 183 Miami, FL No. 36 Miami, Fla.
7. Mario Pender 6' 190 Cape Coral, FL No. 37 Florida State
8. Mike Davis 5'9" 216 Lithonia, GA No. 54 South Carolina
9. Alex Ross 6'1" 205 Jenks, OK No. 78 Oklahoma
10. Barry Sanders, Jr. 5'10" 185 Oklahoma City, OK No. 79 Stanford
11. Todd Gurley 6'1" 195 Tarboro, NC No. 83 Georgia
12. D.J. Foster 6' 190 Scottsdale, AZ No. 97 Arizona St
13. Bri'onte Dunn 6'2" 220 Canton, OH No. 98 Ohio State
14. Kenyan Drake 6'1" 204 Powder Springs, GA No. 130 Alabama
15. J.C. Coleman 5'7" 170 Chesapeake, VA No. 140 Virginia Tech
16. Byron Marshall 5'10" 195 San Jose, CA No. 148 Oregon
17. Matt Jones 6'2" 213 Seffner, FL No. 165 Florida
18. Kei'Varae Russell 6' 177 Everett, WA No. 167 Notre Dame
19. Brian Kimbrow 5'8" 170 Memphis, TN No. 170 Vanderbilt
20. Wes Brown 6'1" 210 Olney, MD No. 191 Maryland
21. Greg Garmon 6'1" 200 Erie, PA No. 223 Iowa
22. Drew Harris 6'1" 220 Dowington, PA No. 228 Virginia Tech
23. Jovon Robinson 6'1" 220 Memphis, TN No. 244 Auburn

Miscellaneous: 

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