Over the past few seasons you have had running backs like Dalvin Cook, Sony Michel, Joseph Yearby and even Marlon Mack who stars at USF. This year is not the typical year for star backs in the sun-shine state. There are a few good ones but the top end talent and overall depth of the position is nowhere near what it has been like in past seasons. While that may be the case there are still some quality backs in the class of 2016 and we will be breaking them down.
1-Amir Rasul-Coral Gables-5’10-190-(Committed to Florida State)-There are a few guys who could have ended up with the top spot. With the uncertainty of the position in 2015 and the upside that Rasul possesses, he takes the top spot. Rasul is one of if not the fastest backs in the state of Florida. He has track speed and his ability to break off long runs makes him a priority for most coaching staffs. It would not surprise us to see him make an impact on special teams returning kicks and punts in college. His speed is his best attribute. As a running back we would like to see him become more patient and really learn how to play the position. He could also end up on defense in college.
2-Travis Homer-Oxbridge-5’9-190-(Committed to Miami)-Homer is probably one of the more complete backs in this year’s class. He runs well but his ability to catch the football out of the backfield makes him one of the more versatile backs. He has good vision and can cut on a dime when Travis sees something open up on the line of scrimmage. What he lacks is the stretch the field ability that Rasul has.
3-Jawon Hamilton-South Dade-5’10-190-(Committed to Miami)-It was real difficult to not put Hamilton in the top spot. He had by far the best season of any running back in South Florida. He has good vision and can cut on a dime. He also has the ability to make the big plays. It would not surprise us to see him have the best career in college as well. He is a tough back that can pick up the yards needed to keep the chains moving. He can also take it the distance anywhere on the field. Hamilton is also a solid back as a receiver out of the backfield.
4-Carlin Films-Aime-Naples-5’10-188-(Committed to Tennessee) When injured or out for any long periods of time for Naples they were not the same team. Aime is a very good back that just happens to play in an area of Florida that does not get much coverage. He is a nice back that give you the consistent 6-7 yards carrying the football. He also can break off some nice runs for touchdowns. He is a good in between the tackles runner but it is on the outside where Aime is going to make his mark.
5-Zack Moss-Hallandale-5’10-205-(Committed to Utah)-Moss is not your typical South Florida back. He is more of a between the tackles, downhill running back. He is a powerful back that can break tackles and pick up extra yards. He makes a ton of yards after contact. He is the type of back that the more you give him the football, the better Moss gets. He needs his touches to be effective. He can wear a defense down with his punishing running style. Going out to the Pac 10 where most of the defenses are used to seeing more finesse style backs, Moss could do well for himself.
6-Tony Jones-IMG Academy-6’1-215-(Committed to Notre Dame) - Jones is another between the tackles, downhill running back. He is a guy that is going to run N/S and will try and run through a defender then try and run around them. He is probably one of the bigger backs in this year’s class and can handle the wear and tear of playing college football. He has played well in high school but we feel that Jones has more potential then what has been shown up to this point of his career.
7-Hussein Howe-University Christian-5’10-175-In the state title game, Howe went off. He showed the ability to make the big play. Get him one on one with a defender and Howe would make them look silly. What we like about Howe is you can move him outside to receiver. He has the versatility to match what offensive coordinators are trying to do these days and that is spread the field. Forget trying to match up a linebacker with Howe as that is one battle the defense will not win. He is also versatile enough to play cornerback in college.
8-Deon McIntosh-Cardinal Gibbons-5’10-175-(Committed to Notre Dame)-Doen did not have the type of season you would like to have had in 2015. That being said he is another versatile back that can run between the tackles, bounce it outside or give you a threat out of the backfield as a receiver. He is very effective catching the football. What we like is that Deon is a patient back. He will wait for an opening and then try and expose it. He is not a 20-25 carry type of back that is going to wear the defense out. He is best at around 10-12 carries plus some touches as a receiver out of the backfield.
9-Devin Singletary-American Heritage Delray-5’8-175-(Committed to Illinois)-Devin gives you a back that can flip the field position quickly. He is one of the more explosive backs and the more Devin touches the odds go up something big will happen on offense. He is not the type of back that you are going to pound between the tackles. You want to get him into space and let him beat defenders one on one. He is a back that can also be used in the passing game. He has solid hands and is a dangerous in the open field. We expect Devin to play early on special teams as he can do well returning kicks and punts.
10-Adrian Killins-Mainland-5’8-160-(Committed to UCF)-If there is a more perfect fit then Killins to UCF we would like to see it. He is going to be great in the new UCF offense. Get him the ball in space and move out of the way. He is one of the faster backs in the state of Florida. His quickness and elusiveness also make him difficult to tackle in open space. Killins is a player we expect to make an instant impact. We would not be surprised if he made more big plays in college then anyone listed ahead of him at this time.
Best of the rest…..
*Jaxson Kincaide-Saint Thomas-5’7-165-He showed off his talent this year for Saint Thomas. Turn on most any game and he was an impact player. In the state title game he was almost impossible to stop. Someone is going to get a very good football player at the next level.
* Trey Sneed-Fleming Island-5’10-210-(Committed to Rutgers)-Sneed is much underrated and we would not be surprised to see him have a very good college career. Another player who is in an area that does not get a ton of pub. Sneed is one of the few bigger backs that can wear a defense down.
*Elijah Mack-Charlotte-5’11-215-(Committed to USF)-The way USF is able to compete at a high level in Florida is by finding the hidden gems. Mack may just be one of those types of players. He is a big, powerful, downhill running back. Mack is a between the tackles back who will punish defenders on his way to the end-zone. He will be very effective on short yardage plays and near the end-zone.
*Laderrien Wilson-Osceola-5’10-210-(Committed to Virginia)-One thing Wilson is used to doing is carrying the rock. He plays in an offensive scheme that expects the running back to carry the load. He will be expected to do the same in college. Wilson is not the type of back to pop off big runs unless he carries the football. You have to give him the ball 20 times a game and get out of the way. We like players who have produced and Wilson has done that in high school.
*James Charles-Saint Thomas-5’10-190-(Committed to FAU)-Charles is a back that is not the biggest or fastest but there is no doubt he can run. He is another back that needs to get his touches. He runs hard and with enough touches can make a defense pay.
*Artavis Pierce-Auburndale-5’11-190-(Committed to Oregon State)-Not too often you will see two of the best running backs in Florida go all the way out to the Pac 10. Pierce is an under the radar back that Oregon State was able to pluck out of the sun-shine state. The last time they pulled a back this talented out of Florida his name was Yvenson Bernard. Pierce is a powerful back that will run over or around a defender. He is deceptively fast and once in the open field can make a big play. He needs to just become more consistent from week to week.