The interest in big backs in the college game has dwindled in recent years as teams employ more spread offenses and more frequently platoon their ball carriers. Alabama is one school that still uses the big back effectively, and 6-foot-1, 228-pound four-star Mikel Horton of West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West is taking a close look at the Crimson Tide.
"I am going to Alabama this weekend," Horton reported. "They just want to see what I look like as far as my size. They have seen my film and were very interested in me. They want the big back type because they have T.J. Yeldon now."
Horton will make the drive to Tuscaloosa with his cousin and a friend and plans to spend a couple days on campus. He is interested in experiencing what Alabama has to offer and excited about what he already knows of the program.
"This is a time for me to get to know the staff, the environment, the atmosphere and how Alabama works," Horton said. "It is very exciting. I wouldn't mind winning a national championship at all, so that definitely puts them at a higher rank than other colleges."
Also developing for Horton this week are two new offers from Western Michigan and Minnesota. The Rivals250 running back has family connections to the Golden Gophers.
"My uncle, Rodney Heath, played corner for Minnesota and went to the League after that, so I know about them a little bit," Horton said. "My dad talked to him and said he was ecstatic about the offer. That's his alma mater, and he was telling me why not take it, but I am keeping an open mind to all schools."
Plans to visit Minnesota are in the works, but first Horton has a pair of SEC schools he wants to see this spring.
"I am going down to LSU soon and I am going back to UK soon," he said. "[At Kentucky] I just want to see how the football works down there. The fans are crazy down there and I want to see as far as the atmosphere."
Horton named Kentucky his leader immediately after a visit to Lexington two weeks ago, but has since taken a more open stance on favorites.
"I don't really have a top [school] right now," he said. "I have a lot of interest in Kentucky and a lot of interest in other schools. It has been a great ride as far as the colleges and offers and I am keeping an open mind for everybody."
Horton now holds a total of seven offers, and they are from Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Bowling Green, Kent State, Toledo and Western Michigan.