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Rival Views: If there's a five-star RB in 2023 who should it be?

Justice Haynes
Justice Haynes (

Rivals Rankings Week is wrapping up, bringing about new three-, four- and five-star players. One thing missing in this rankings cycle is a five-star tailback. National recruiting analysts Ryan Wright and Nick Harris discuss which running back should be a five-star - if there is one in the 2023 class.


NEW POSITION RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB | RB | All-Purpose RB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DT | Weakside DE | Strongside DE | Inside LB | Outside LB | CB | S | ATH

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position



Sunday: Who could supplant Arch Manning atop the Rivals250?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Should Samson Okunlola be the No. 1 OT? | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released | Biggest risers | Gorney goes position-by-position

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Five teams that should pleased with new Rivals250 | Where the recruitments stand for the five-stars | Breaking down QB rankings | Breaking down RB rankings | Breaking down WR/TE rankings | Breaking down OL rankings

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released | Breaking down the DL rankings | Breaking down the LB rankings | Breaking down the DB rankings

Friday: Updated state rankings released


WRIGHT'S TAKE: Justice Haynes  

There are two running backs worthy of earning a fifth star: Justice Haynes and Richard Young. Haynes gets my vote to be the first.

Haynes is as special as they come, eating up 2,375 yards with 29 scores while hauling in 10 passes for 136 more yards with two more touchdowns in just 12 games. Haynes has that mix of power and speed with fantastic field vision and ankle-breaking cuts. He is the real deal.

Slotted just behind Haynes in the running back group is Young. Young is a human highlight reel waiting to happen. Opposing teams know Young is going to get the rock and he still topped the 1,700-yard mark in 10 games with 19 touchdowns. He even threw for a score.

Haynes and Young have NFL talent and each will have the opportunity to be the focus in an offense for whichever school they may choose.


HARRIS' TAKE: Rueben Owens

Rueben Owens
Rueben Owens (Ryan Wright)

While the 2022 NFL Draft didn't see a running back come off the board until the second round, the need for an elite, all-purpose running back that can open up an NFL offense still persists. Looking ahead to some mock drafts for a much deeper draft class in 2023, Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Zach Evans and Devon Achane are all names that are getting first-round consideration and are all names that could compete at a high level in the NFL.

Look at all of those names and you'll see direct links to Rueben Owens' recruitment. Texas (Robinson), TCU (Evans' former team) and Texas A&M (Achane) are all high on his list, and Texas running backs coach Tashard Choice had the task of being Gibbs' position coach for the last two seasons at Georgia Tech.

Owens' all-purpose ability was on display during his junior season, but it was this spring on the 7-on-7 circuit where Owens really shined in the receiving game. It certainly helped his case that he rushed for almost 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his junior year at El Campo. His frame and speed are translatable traits for the next level, and he appears to be a surefire first-round pick.