National Signing Day by position: Top RB classes
National Signing Day has come and gone. Recruiting classes are mostly finished and the results are ready to be dissected. Today, Rivals.com's position-by-position look at the 2019 cycle moves forward with the country’s top running back classes.
NSD BY POSITION: QB
Alabama is one of a few teams to sign two running backs rated four-stars or higher, but the fact that one of the Tide’s gets is the No. 1 back in America puts Nick Saban’s program in the top spot. Five-star Trey Sanders sits atop the rankings for a reason, after all, as the Florida-based prospect is a truly rare blend of size and speed.
And while Alabama may not need him to carry the ball much next year, he’s prepared to shine in the SEC from day one if need be. Saban also managed to land four-star Keilan Robinson, giving Alabama an incredible second back in this class, as the Washington D.C.-based star could have been the top-ranked running back in most classes.
The Tigers were given the gift of having two incredibly talented tailbacks in their home state this cycle, but the fact that they managed to land both five-star John Emery and four-star Tyrion Davis is still beyond impressive. Ed Orgeron managed to flip Emery from UGA.
The LSU head coach’s reputation as an ace recruiter is well earned and he’s backed it up again in this instance. Talking two massively talented backs into competing with each other is an incredible sales job, after all.
3. Penn State
What Penn State did when it comes to recruiting running backs this cycle is nothing short of remarkable. James Franklin and company landed the highly touted Devyn Ford early in the year, but were still able to lure Rivals100 back Noah Cain into the fold months later. Both Cain and Ford are Rivals100 prospects and will compete for reps during their Penn State careers.
The recruiting prowess it takes to land two prospects of this quality at the same position can’t be oversold, as it gives the Nittany Lions an incredibly deep running back group going forward.
Cain and Ford also complement each other nicely, as the former brings incredible power while the latter is known for his elusiveness.
Auburn’s running back room received a huge lift on signing day, when the Tigers stole tailback Mark-Antony Richards from Miami and others. Richards is a Miami legacy and one of the more versatile athletes in America, as he played multiple positions throughout his high school career.
Stanford landed Rivals250 member Austin Jones in December and had every reason to celebrate the signing, as most major programs on the West Coast were also in pursuit of the powerful, 190-pound tailback. And while three-star Nathaniel Peat didn’t come with the same level of fanfare, he’s certainly a talented runner in his own right.
Peat chose the Cardinal over offers from Iowa, Missouri and other Midwest schools closer to his family home. The duo could be a dangerous one, as the 5-foot-8 Peat brings the perfect amount of quickness to complement Jones’ power.