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Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2023 RBs

The updated 2023 Rivals250 is out this week and today we take a look across the offensive positions. In focus here are the running backs as we break down the top-rated player at the position, two teams to watch and three other names to watch as the offseason continues.

NEW 2023 RANKINGS: All-purpose RB | Running back | Pro-style QB | Dual-threat QB



Previews: Who should be No. 1? | Which QB should be next to receive a fifth star? | Can Nico Iamaleava unseat Arch Manning as No. 1 QB? | Who is the best defensive lineman?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers | Thoughts on M'Pemba, Tate, Haynes

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Five schools that should be pleased | Breaking down the QB rankings

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

Saturday: Rival Views

Sunday: Who will move up most in the next Rivals250?


1. No. 1 player at the RB position: Justice Haynes

Justice Haynes
Justice Haynes (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It is a tight race atop the running back and all-purpose back rankings for the 2023 class as Justice Haynes leads the way at No. 18, but Rueben Owens II and Richard Young are both within 10 spots of him so there could still be some shakeout along the way.

Haynes leads the list because he’s a power back who also has excellent speed and escapability. He’s also smart and patient with the ball in his hands and he’s not going to get shoestring tackled. Every yard is battled for when Haynes is running with the football, and that’s what makes him special. He’s a complete back with speed and power.

Georgia is the frontrunner in his recruitment and his dad, Verron, played for the Bulldogs, so he’s also a legacy. Clemson is also a serious contender after Haynes’ recent trip there for a junior day, along with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and others.

RELATED: Does Clemson or UGA lead for Haynes?


2. Two teams to watch: LSU and Alabama  

Kaleb Jackson
Kaleb Jackson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

New LSU coach Brian Kelly could be in a prime position to land two of the best running backs in the country, both in-state players who are very high on the Tigers right now.

The first is literally in LSU’s backyard as Baton Rouge (La.) Liberty Magnet’s Kaleb Jackson is rated as the third-best running back in the class behind Haynes and Young and has a wealth of talent. The second is Farmerville (La.) Union Parish’s Trey Holly, the second-best all-purpose back nationally who is also looking at Georgia, Oregon, Alabama and others.

If Kelly could keep both in-state that would be a huge, early recruiting win for the new LSU coach.

The second team to watch is Alabama. The Crimson Tide probably have the edge for Young out of Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh, and he will be in contention to finish the rankings cycle No. 1 at the position. Others that are under serious consideration as well include Owens, Cedric Baxter from Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater and Mark Fletcher from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage.




3. Three players to watch: Cedric Baxter, Sam Singleton and Treyaun Webb

Lost in the discussion about who the top running back in the country should be is that Cedric Baxter is an incredible prospect who’s big, physical and can move with the best of them. He has Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, UCF and others involved after an early pledge to the Seminoles.

Sam Singleton is a really intriguing prospect from Fleming Island, Fla., who had nearly 1,000 rushing yards in his junior season and some highlight-reel runs that were just incredible. He has great balance, he’s not tackled easily and his breakaway speed is top-notch.

After a few early commitments, Treyaun Webb is back on the board. While it looks like Georgia could have an edge in his recruitment, South Carolina has made him a big priority and made it clear he could have an instrumental role there. USC, Oregon and others are in the mix as well.