The California crop of running backs in the class of 2008 looks very strong. One player who has been putting up numbers since his freshman season is Corona (Calif.) Centennial's Ryan Bass and we had a chance to see the athlete up close and personal last Friday.
In what was a very entertaining game, The Huskies knocked off area rival Santiago 27-20 to improve to 8-0 on the season. Bass had an amazing 52 carries for 277 yards and four touchdowns and the Huskies goal line stand in the last minute of the game secured the win.
Bass is a well built 5-10, 190 pounds who reminded us a little of UCLA running back Chris Markey. Bass is more quick than fast but is a physical runner and is not afraid to run between the tackles. He has excellent balance and vision, hits the hole quickly and doesn't spend a lot of time trying to juke and jive a defender but rather gets the ball and is up the field.
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Bass is a one cut type runner and does an excellent job of feeling where the hole is going to be and then explodes through it while finishing his runs well and is always falling forward at the end of each carry. Bass may not be the biggest back we've seen but is the type that seems to get stronger as the game goes along and was punishing defenders in the fourth quarter.
On the season, Bass has rushed for 1,790 yards and 29 touchdowns and will likely go over the 2,000 yard barrier in the Huskies next game. On the recruiting front, Bass is still waiting for his first scholarship offer but said if one particular school offered him, he would give serious thought about making an early commitment.
"Right now, I'm hearing from all of the Pac 10 plus schools like Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Nebraska and several others. It's still really early in the process but if I had to name a top five right now, it would be UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State and Nebraska.
"I really like UCLA a lot and if they offered me, I would think seriously about jumping on it. My family wants me to stay local since I've had a couple of brothers that left the state to play in college. I like their program and the coaches and I think it would be fun to get the decision out of the way early as well to focus on our season next year with no distractions."