football

Category rankings: Running backs

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Video: Best RBs by category | VOTE: Home-run threat | Inside runner | In space | Downhill
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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
BEST HOME-RUN THREAT
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Giles highlightsClick 5. Jarvis Giles, Tampa Gaither Here to view this Link.
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.
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Michael highlightsClick 4. Christine Michael, Beaumont (Texas) West Brook Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 5-11/195
THE BUZZ: Combines great speed with change of direction. Scored 28 TDs on 214 touches last year.
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Wood highlightsClick 3. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara Here to view this Link.
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.
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Wilson highlightsClick 2. David Wilson, Danville (Va.) George Washington Here to view this Link.
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.
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Thompson highlightsClick 1. Chris Thompson, Madison (Fla.) Madison County Here to view this Link.
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
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Ealey highlightsClick 5. Washaun Ealey, Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute Here to view this Link.
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.
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Wood highlightsClick 4. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara Here to view this Link.
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.
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Richardson highlightsClick 3. Trent Richardson, Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia Here to view this Link.
COMMITMENT: Alabama
PARTICULARS: 5-11/210
THE BUZZ: Probably the most well-built running back. He should be a fourth-quarter nightmare for opponents.
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Bellamy highlightsClick 2. Adaris Bellamy, Dunedin (Fla.) High Here to view this Link.
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.
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Williams highlightsClick 1. De'Antwan Williams, Woodbridge (Va.) High Here to view this Link.
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
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Brown highlightsClick 5. Bryce Brown, Wichita (Kan.) East Here to view this Link.
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.
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Stephens highlightsClick 4. Eric Stephens, Mansfield (Texas) Timberview Here to view this Link.
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.
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Thompson highlightsClick 3. Chris Thompson, Madison (Fla.) Madison County Here to view this Link.
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.
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Giles highlightsClick 2. Jarvis Giles, Tampa Gaither Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 5-11/175
THE BUZZ: He can change direction in the smallest of spaces and accelerates extremely well out of the cut.
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Michael highlightsClick 1. Christine Michael, Beaumont (Texas) West Brook Here to view this Link.
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
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Lacy highlightsClick 5. Eddie Lacy, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 5-11/200
THE BUZZ: It almost always takes more than one defender to bring him down.
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Hardy highlightsClick 4. Kendrick Hardy, Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 6-0/210
THE BUZZ: A big back with good forward body lean, plus he hits the hole hard.
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Davis highlightsClick 3. Knile Davis, Fort Bend (Texas) Marshall Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 6-0/209
THE BUZZ: Just before contact, he lowers the boom and the pile is going forward.
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Miller highlightsClick 2. Lamar Miller, Miami Killian Here to view this Link.
PARTICULARS: 5-11/205
THE BUZZ: He will get the tough yards after first contact.
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Wood highlightsClick 1. Cierre Wood, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara Here to view this Link.
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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