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Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2021 running back rankings

LJ Johnson
LJ Johnson (SoonerScoop.com/Josh McCuistion)

Rivals continues to roll out its updated rankings for the 2021 class, and our focus turns to the running back position. Below is a brief overview of the biggest storylines coming out of the latest update.

2021 RANKINGS: Running back | All-purpose back

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Making the Case for No. 1 | How things stand with the uncommitted players in the Rivals250 | The top five-star candidates

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Breaking down the new five-stars | Biggest movers in new ranking

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Schools with the most R250 players

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

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  TEAMS WITH TOP COMMITS: Ohio State and LSU 

The Buckeyes landed two running backs in the top 80 nationally. Cornelius (N.C.) Hough’s Evan Pryor is the second-best all-purpose back in the 2021 class, and Hopewell, Va., prospect TreVeyon Henderson is No. 4 at the running back position. Both have unique qualities and both could be dynamic in Ohio State’s backfield in the coming years.

LSU finished strong at running back as four-star Corey Kiner from Cincinnati (Ohio) Roger Bacon has been committed since May, and the Tigers got another boost in the Early Signing Period when four-star Armoni Goodwin from Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville picked LSU. He had previously been committed to Auburn and there were some rumors he would go back to the Tigers if coach Gus Malzahn was retained but that didn’t happen, which was to LSU’s benefit.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OHIO STATE FANS AT BUCKEYEGROVE.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH LSU FANS AT TIGERDETAILS.COM

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TEAMS TO WATCH: Texas and Texas A&M   

With the 2021 class coming to a close there are not many players left on the board, but it could get really interesting at the top in the closing days.

Five-star Camar Wheaton is committed to Alabama, but has not signed and so there is reason to watch Texas here, especially with new coach Steve Sarkisian in place. The expectation is that there will be no drama with Wheaton, as he’s expected to stick with the Crimson Tide.

But LJ Johnson is also still on the board as he works through his decision to pick either the Longhorns or the Aggies. That commitment could come at any time, as the high four-star seems legitimately torn between the two programs. Johnson is a major battleground recruit for Sarkisian to establish himself at Texas and for Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher as he looks to land yet another top in-state prospect.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS FANS AT ORANGEBLOODS.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS A&M FANS AT AGGIEYELL.COM

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  PLAYER TO WATCH: LJ Johnson 

The recruitment of Johnson has been interesting because the Cypress (Texas) Fairbanks standout does not talk much about favorites or what he’s thinking, so it’s led to a lot of speculation and has basically come down to this: The four-star standout is going to pick between Texas and Texas A&M and both sides feel relatively confident on where things stand in the final days.

Johnson recently took a visit to Texas A&M and many felt he would leave College Station by making a commitment to the Aggies. That has not happened, and a trip to Austin was expected. This is truly a toss-up and it will turn into a major recruiting victory for either Sarkisian or Fisher to close out the 2021 class.