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How five-star RBs from past four recruiting cycles are performing

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Rivals.com is taking a look at the five-stars from the previous four recruiting cycles to see how they’ve performed so far. Today, we examine the running backs.

MORE: How five-star QBs are performing | The Farrell Awards from Early Signing Period


Recruiting: An early Michigan pledge, Harris committed to Alabama over Kentucky and Ohio State in January of his senior year, a few weeks before National Signing Day.

Performance: Entering this season, Harris rushed for 2,197 yards with 14 touchdowns. Alabama’s lead back in his senior year, the former five-star leads the Crimson Tide with 771 yards on 126 attempts and he’s second on the team with seven TDs.

Farrell’s take: Harris was a surefire five-star out of high school after I saw his combination of power and balance at the Under Armour All-America Game. He started to come into his own last season and added some speed but he regressed a bit this year when it comes to his stock. He hasn’t quite lived up to that five-star status yet.

Recruiting: Guice committed to LSU in the spring before his senior season. Texas, Alabama and Tulane were also being seriously considered.

Performance: In three seasons at LSU, Guice rushed for 3,074 yards with 29 touchdowns. He was a second-round pick of the Washington Redskins in the 2018 NFL Draft but in the first quarter of the first preseason game, Guice injured his knee and missed the entire season.

Farrell’s take: Guice was a powerful runner out of high school who refused to go down easily and loved to work off of contact. His career at LSU was a good one and he has a lot of promise as a pro despite his injury. I think he has lived up to that five-star status.

Recruiting: In October of his senior season, Patrick committed to Florida State over his other finalists: Florida, Alabama, Ohio State and Texas A&M. The five-star was offered by then-FSU coach Jimbo Fisher as a freshman in high school.

Performance: In four seasons at Florida State, Patrick has rushed for only 1,790 yards and 17 touchdowns including this season where he served as Cam Akers’ backup and had 378 rushing yards and one score.

Farrell’s take: Patrick was a big, upright runner out of high school with good receiving skills and sneaky speed. He was powerful and could easily run through arm tackles but had great feet as well. His career at FSU never unfolded the way we expected mainly because of the five-star competition from players such as Dalvin Cook and Akers. It will be interesting to see how he does as a pro.


Recruiting: On National Signing Day, Jamabo committed to UCLA over Texas. Notre Dame had also been given some consideration in his recruitment.

Performance: In four seasons at UCLA, Jamabo finished with 1,183 yards and 13 touchdowns. He played in only three games his senior season.

Farrell’s take: I can’t explain this one because Jamabo was so talented out of high school it was ridiculous. He could run inside, outside and catch the ball, and I expected him to eat up the Pac-12 with his speed and quickness. He’s one of the bigger disappointments at the position we’ve seen in years.

Recruiting: Harris had been committed to Alabama since spring 2015 but a late push by Michigan was legitimate and at the Army All-American Bowl, the five-star running back was torn between those two schools. He ended up flying right to Alabama and enrolling in Tuscaloosa.

Performance: Part of a three-headed running back attack for the Crimson Tide, Harris has rushed for 679 yards and four touchdowns so far this season. As a freshman, Harris totaled 370 yards and three scores on 61 carries.

Farrell’s take: Harris was an upright runner out of high school with size and speed who reminded me of Adrian Peterson. He’s expected to have a breakout season next year when he’s the man and he has shown flashes of brilliance in spots so far. He is one of the most talented running backs I have seen out of high school.

Recruiting: An early Alabama commitment, Akers pledged to Florida State over Tennessee, Ohio State, Ole Miss and others in December of his senior season.

Performance: Running behind a subpar offensive line for the Seminoles, Akers had 1,025 rushing yards and seven scores as a freshman and 704 yards and six TDs this season.

Farrell’s take: Akers was in the discussion for No. 1 overall with Najee Harris when he was coming out, he was that good. He played quarterback in high school but was a dynamic runner and very powerful. He’s been the victim of an awful offensive line at Florida State but has still shown some signs of that five-star ability.

Recruiting: In one of the more unique recruiting announcements in recent memory, Laborn made his pledge known at The Opening in the summer before his senior season by rolling into the Nike facilities in a Lamborghini adorned with FSU stickers. The Seminoles were long considered the frontrunner.

Performance: Laborn suffered a dislocated kneecap in early September and missed the rest of the season. He redshirted in the 2017 season.

Farrell’s take: Laborn showed his potential in the spring and despite the injury is expected to have a huge season next year even sharing time with Akers. Laborn was always great in space but added lower body strength his senior year of high school and became much more powerful. I expect him to have a great career.

Recruiting: White committed to Georgia over Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and North Carolina during a ceremony at his school. The Bulldogs were considered the frontrunner for a while before his decision.

Performance: While covering a punt during a preseason scrimmage, White tore his ACL and missed the entire 2018 season.

Farrell’s take: White’s injury is unfortunate but shouldn’t set him back too far. He was a dynamic runner out of high school who ran with natural leverage, power and had breakaway speed. He, along with Najee Harris, is one of the best running backs I’ve seen at the high school level in recent years.

Recruiting: After his junior season, Lingard committed to Miami over other frontrunners Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Clemson and Auburn. He told the Orlando Sentinel that he had dreams at night of playing for the Hurricanes.

Performance: In his freshman season, Lingard played in six games and had 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He sustained a season-ending knee injury in October.

Farrell’s take: Lingard was supposed to make a bigger impact as a freshman but never really settled in before his injury. He’ll be a huge part of the Miami offense next season and will show that slashing, powerful running style we saw in high school.

Recruiting: An early commitment to Florida State where his brother, Dalvin, played, Cook backed off that pledge and months later pledged to Georgia over Louisville and others although the Bulldogs had become the leader after he backed off his FSU commitment.

Performance: Cook is third on the Bulldogs with 284 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries.

Farrell’s take: Cook was a great runner and receiver out of high school who could score from anywhere and he should show more of that next season for Georgia. The problem? There are so many talented running backs on the UGA roster he will have to fight for carries.