Any national list of the top running backs that doesn’t include the name Maurice Wells of Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood would be incomplete. That’s because the 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back is already racking up scholarship offers just like he racked up yards on the field this past season.
Along with rushing for 3,079 yards, setting a Northeast Florida record with 429 yards rushing in one game, and earning first-team all-state honors in Florida as a junior, Wells has already picked up scholarship offers from some heavy hitters.
“Florida was really the first team to offer him,” Sandalwood coach Adam Geis said. “They were the first to really check on him. Georgia Tech’s staff told us they would recruit no other running backs in this class and that he could come in there and be a starter from day one.
“The coaches at Ole Miss said he has an offer coming, too, but they’re not sure they’d be able to get him because of the others that have already offered him.”
But the topper of all of the offers has to be the one from Ohio State recruiting coordinator Bill Conley.
“Coach Conley said hands down he is the best running back that they’ve seen in years,” Geis said.
“They said they never offer a player without coach (Jim) Tressel seeing his film. Coach Conley called coach Tressel and told him that he’ll have to trust him on this one. They got the tape FedEx’d up there to them and then a day later they had a written offer in the mail to Maurice.
“They were saying that if Maurice Clarrett would have come back they would have had the best two Maurices in the game today on the field at the same time. When a team like Ohio State offers you, it’s hard to turn down. He’s already talking about going up there for a game and then back for a visit. It’s going to be hard for me to believe that if he doesn’t go up there for a game and see all those people that he wouldn’t commit.”
So what makes this kid so special?
“I think it comes down to one word – speed,” Geis said. “He blows the door open and nobody can catch him. He has a 4.35-second time in the 40 on a track and he’s so fast it’s scary. He also has about only two percent body fat. He’s built like a rock and has the ability to run between the tackles and around everybody, too.”
Geis said Ohio State is the early leader for Wells, but with Florida State and Miami also involved – but yet to offer – it’s still up in the air who’s going to land this future Rivals100 selection.