Baxter: Breaking down the top 2015 running backs

03/16/2014 11:24 PM

03/17/2014 7:25 AM

WITH SPRING football practice quickly approaching, we’re taking a look at the top players in the state by position for the Class of 2015.

Today, I’m breaking down the running backs, and this class has several guys who could find themselves playing at the Division I level. This is a breakdown of the top five from this class, followed by the next five to watch.

The top running back is Ty’Son Williams of Crestwood. Williams (5-11, 202) is a dynamic ball carrier with the full set of skills. He has great speed, quickness, good vision, navigates traffic well, has deceptive power, and can break away once in space. He has nearly a dozen FBS offers.

At the No. 2 spot is Dutch Fork’s Matthew Colburn. Colburn is an exciting player with a complete skill set, like Williams. He lacks the size that the FBS schools seem to be trending toward, standing just under 5-8, but is solidly built at 180 pounds and is one of the stronger backs in the state. He has an offer from a mid-major school.

No. 3 is Byrnes’ Isaiah Hill. Hill (5-11, 205) has a great frame and excellent speed. He’s great out of a one-back set, with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and is excellent in space. He runs the zone well and is similar to former Byrnes back Marcus Lattimore in running style. He will attract the attention of mid-major FBS programs.

Darlington’s Trayvon Thomas (5-8, 205) has been on our radar since his freshman year. He is an animal running in traffic and difficult to tackle. He has great strength, lateral quickness, and is explosive; he lacks straightline speed, which is overrated with running backs, but will attract FBS attention.

Manning’s Raquan Bennett (6-0, 215) is at No. 5. He is one of the bigger backs in this group. He has good speed and vision and is physical. He had a big sophomore season as a running back and played linebacker, as well. He could find himself recruited as a linebacker.

The next five for the Class of 2015:

•  Jarius Jenkins (5-10, 190), Hunter-Kinard-Tyler: versatile, physical, slashing type of runner.
•  Joseph Young (6-1, 190), Fairfield-Central: strong, physical running back. Two FCS offers.
•  Kenny Waring (5-9, 170), Wando: slashing scat back; might be fastest in the group.
•  Labradford Abson (5-10, 183), Lamar: quick back to the edge; navigates traffic well; difficult to tackle with ability to make people miss.
•  Donovan Ward (5-8, 185), Dreher: shifty running back with quick feet and breakaway speed. Excellent out of the backfield as receiver.

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