Who signed the top high school running backs in the nation in the 2012 class?
- 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.
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:
|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|