A terrific running back prospect from the state of Florida is Ben Axon from Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee High School. Axon, 6-2 and 198 pounds, rushed for 1,200 yards and 18 scores last season as a junior. He finished as the county leader in yards, touchdowns and even receptions (41).
"I am a horse," Axon said. "I think I run a lot like Adrian Peterson. I have moves, speed and power. I know when to lower my shoulder and make a cut. I can find the endzone. I also have a good spin move and I run with a forward lean. I don't stop at contact and keep my legs moving. I get those extra yards."
When speaking to this four-star running back prospect you hear the confidence in his voice. Despite this belief in himself Axon knows there is work to be done both on and off the field.
"I got some bad grades as a freshman and I know I need to get my grades up a little to qualify. It's simple; no grades, no scholarship. I will be going to summer school and making up some classes. It's serious and I am shooting for nothing but A's.
"On the field I know I can get better. The main thing I have been working on is my speed, footwork, agility and my pass protection."
Axon is one of the state's premier backs in a year loaded at this position in the Sunshine State. He is a strong runner that can be elusive as well. Axon runs with patience, letting his blockers set things up. He also runs with excellent balance and vision.
"I have a simple philosophy that all depends on the situation (down and distance). If its fourth and one and we need that yard I turn into a power back. If it's third and long I will find a way to move the chains, whether it's in the passing game or we need a big run. I do what my team needs me to do."
Axon is starting to gain momentum in recruiting, with eight scholarship offers now from Purdue, Florida, FSU, USF, FIU, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Clemson. That offer will go up dramatically in the coming weeks and months.
"I Think Georgia will offer soon but to be honest with you I am not worried about it (recruiting). I got work to do and this stuff will work itself out. Besides, it's way too early. I like all the schools and won't know for a while what five schools I want to (official) visit."
Over the spring Axon did get a chance to visit three state schools in Florida State, Florida and South Florida. He walked away very impressed by this trio.
"I got nothing but great things to say about FSU. I know they have struggled recently but I like FSU. They are turning things around. They have tradition and I know traditions can change but I trust that those coaches are going to turn this around. I talked with coach (Jimbo) Fisher the other day and I am impressed with him and I think they are going places once again. I know FSU is rebuilding but it's all positive.
"Every time I set foot on campus at the University of Florida or walk into Urban Meyer's office I get goose bumps. Just being at Florida wants me to play for them. It's a great program with great players. They are stacked on offense and only need a defense to win it all again. I can certainly see myself being a Gator.
"I like South Florida. In fact, coach (Carl) Franks came by the school today. USF is close to home and that would be great for my family. They are a up and coming program and I can see myself as a Bull too. They have the right players and a good offense. USF just needs a few more pieces to the puzzle."
Before Axon really gets serious about the recruiting process he wants to see a few more schools. That's going to be critical before he's able to narrow things down.
"I have got to take a look at some of the schools I like. I want to see Clemson and South Carolina. I want to visit as many schools as I can. That will help me narrow things down so I know what five schools I want to visit. Right now I am looking at visiting both Clemson and South Carolina this summer. "