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June 11, 2008

Category rankings: Running backs

Video: Best RBs by category | VOTE: Home-run threat | Inside runner | In space | Downhill


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and ranked them. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down the running backs.

Coming Next: Defensive ends

RB RANKINGS: Home-run threat | Best inside runner | Best in space | Best downhill runner

5. Jarvis Giles, Tampa Gaither
Giles highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/175
THE BUZZ: Uses great vision to break into the secondary. Last season, had 20 TDs and rushed for 1,478 yards.
4. Christine Michael, Beaumont (Texas) West Brook
Michael highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/195
THE BUZZ: Combines great speed with change of direction. Scored 28 TDs on 214 touches last year.
3. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara
Wood highlights
COMMITMENT: Notre Dame
PARTICULARS: 6-0/192
THE BUZZ: After the first crease, he is off to the races. He scored 34 rushing TDs in '07.
2. David Wilson, Danville (Va.) George Washington
Wilson highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/192
THE BUZZ: Scored 21 TDs on only 136 touches last season. Won the Nike Indoor National Championship in the triple jump.
1. Chris Thompson, Madison (Fla.) Madison County
Thompson highlights
COMMITMENT: Florida State
PARTICULARS: 5-8/173
THE BUZZ: Electrifying back scored 33 TDs on just 187 carries. He reminds many of Warrick Dunn.
OTHERS: Jaamal Berry, Miami Palmetto; Washaun Ealey, Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute (Georgia commitment); Kendrick Hardy, Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County; David Oku, Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert; Eric Stephens, Mansfield (Texas) Timberview.
BEST INSIDE RUNNER
5. Washaun Ealey, Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute
Ealey highlights
COMMITMENT: Georgia
PARTICULARS: 5-11/205
THE BUZZ: I saw him drive three would-be tacklers and his own blocker 15 yards downfield in a state quarterfinal game.
4. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara
Wood highlights
COMMITMENT: Notre Dame
PARTICULARS: 6-0/192
THE BUZZ: Just needs that sliver of space between the tackles and he is headed to the end zone. Style is similar to Darren McFadden's.
3. Trent Richardson, Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia
Richardson highlights
COMMITMENT: Alabama
PARTICULARS: 5-11/210
THE BUZZ: Probably the most well-built running back. He should be a fourth-quarter nightmare for opponents.
2. Adaris Bellamy, Dunedin (Fla.) High
Bellamy highlights
COMMITMENT: USF
PARTICULARS: 5-9/214
THE BUZZ: Bounces like a pinball off of would-be tacklers. Really keeps his legs moving, reminiscent of Mike Hart.
1. De'Antwan Williams, Woodbridge (Va.) High
Williams highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-6/185
THE BUZZ: He may not be the tallest, but he is put together like a tank. He will remind fans of Maurice Jones-Drew.
OTHERS: Edwin Baker, Oak Park (Mich.) High (Michigan State commitment); Bryce Brown, Wichita (Kan.) East (Miami commitment); Knile Davis, Fort Bend (Texas) Marshall; Bud Golden, Cincinnati Sycamore, Chris Whaley, Madisonville (Texas) High (Texas commitment).
BEST IN SPACE
5. Bryce Brown, Wichita (Kan.) East
Brown highlights
COMMITMENT: Miami
PARTICULARS: 6-0/215
THE BUZZ: For a big back, he has serious wiggle and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield.
4. Eric Stephens, Mansfield (Texas) Timberview
Stephens highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-8/177
THE BUZZ: Had a tremendous performance at the Fort Worth Nike Camp, causing several linebackers to whiff completely during the one-on-ones.
3. Chris Thompson, Madison (Fla.) Madison County
Thompson highlights
COMMITMENT: Florida State
PARTICULARS: 5-8/173
THE BUZZ: Excels as a running back, but also is a total mismatch for a linebacker to cover out of the backfield.
2. Jarvis Giles, Tampa Gaither
Giles highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/175
THE BUZZ: He can change direction in the smallest of spaces and accelerates extremely well out of the cut.
1. Christine Michael, Beaumont (Texas) West Brook
Michael highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/195
THE BUZZ: Has both subtle and dynamic moves that make him extremely difficult to tackle in the open field.
OTHERS: Tavon Austin, Baltimore Dunbar; Jaamal Berry, Miami Palmetto; David Oku, Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert; Desmond Scott, Durham (N.C.) Hillside (Rutgers commitment); Rodney Scott, Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County (Auburn commitment).
BEST DOWNHILL RUNNER
5. Eddie Lacy, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
Lacy highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/200
THE BUZZ: It almost always takes more than one defender to bring him down.
4. Kendrick Hardy, Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County
Hardy highlights
PARTICULARS: 6-0/210
THE BUZZ: A big back with good forward body lean, plus he hits the hole hard.
3. Knile Davis, Fort Bend (Texas) Marshall
Davis highlights
PARTICULARS: 6-0/209
THE BUZZ: Just before contact, he lowers the boom and the pile is going forward.
2. Lamar Miller, Miami Killian
Miller highlights
PARTICULARS: 5-11/205
THE BUZZ: He will get the tough yards after first contact.
1. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara
Wood highlights
COMMITMENT: Notre Dame
PARTICULARS: 6-0/192
THE BUZZ: Already up to top speed by the time he hits the hole.
OTHERS: Washaun Ealey, Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute (Georgia commitment); Kendrick Hardy, Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County; Trent Richardson, Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia (Alabama commitment); Chris Whaley, Madisonville (Texas) High (Texas commitment).



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