Every coach in college football wants to find that explosive running back, another Reggie Bush, Steve Slaton or C.J. Spiller. Among the class of 2009 one of the most explosive playmakers is running Jarvis Giles. Giles, 5-11 and 183 pounds, plays for Tampa (Fla.) Gaither.
"I have worked hard this past off-season, trying to get bigger and stronger," Giles said. "Last season I was 175 or so, so I put on 10 pounds of muscle, gotten stronger and kept my speed. I may even be faster right now."
Last season as a junior Giles rushed for 1,478 yards and 20 touchdowns. He hits the hole hard, has good vision, balance and instincts. Best of all, Giles can run away from the pack.
"I would say that I am more of a finesse back with great speed. I think I am a playmaker because I can score from anywhere because I am explosive. But I am also deceptive with power."
In terms of recruiting Giles claims to have 16 scholarship offers at this time. Rumor has it that the Volunteers are the team to beat. How true are those rumors?
"I can't deny that. I really like Tennessee a lot. I like coach (Philip) Fulmer. He has won a national championship and seems like a great guy that's cool and very down to earth. I look at Tennessee and see all the guys they have put in the NFL. It's just a great program and they certainly produce their share of running backs. I also like their running back coach (Stan Drayton). I am certainly going to watch them closely this season."
Giles also likes five others, Arkansas, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida State and Florida.
"Coach (Bobby) Petrino and Arkansas are looking good right now. I know he is a great coach that has a balanced offense. You know they will have a strong running game and I am anxious to see them play this season.
"Steve Spurrier is one of the best (coaches) around. The guy is just awesome. I know he loves to throw the football but they run as well. And I know they are looking for a versatile back for that offense.
"I think I fit that Clemson offense pretty well. They say I am like C.J. Spiller. I talk with their running back coach and he seems like a good guy. I know that Clemson wants that super (running) back and I can be that back for them.
"I love Bobby Bowden at Florida State but I know he won't be there forever. I like Coach (Jimbo) Fisher. He seems like a cool guy and straight. We talk on the phone and he tells me they need playmakers.
"Florida wants to run the spread and I think I fit in their offense. They are looking for that versatile back. They have (Emmanuel) Moody and (Chris) Rainey. I played against Rainey a few years ago and he's fast and good."
So how big of a lead does Tennessee have at this time?
"I would say it's a slight lead. I first need to decide whether I want to stay in-state or leave. I am still debating that. My family is very supportive and they are behind me 100%. I need to look at the big picture. I am going to college to be a student-athlete and to get an education."
Giles went to the FSU/Miami game in Tallahassee last season. He attended a Florida practice this spring. Giles hopes to get to Clemson and Arkansas this summer and to camp Tennessee.