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SEC spotlight: Ranking running back commits, targets for 2018

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Georgia commit Zamir White

With just about two months until SEC programs can start officially signing prospects in the Class of 2018 it’s time to check and see where each school stands with its running back recruiting. Much like we did with the quarterback situations at each school last week, today we rank the programs in the SEC based on their running back commitments in the class.

RELATED: Where does UGA duo of Fields/White rank? | Commits of the week

GEORGIA

2018 COMMIT

TOP TARGET

THE SITUATION

Georgia has the No. 1 running back in the country committed in White. It hopes to add another five-star in Cook. White is a strong, physical back with Cook being more of that versatile back who they can use in many different ways. They landed Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall in 2012, then Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in 2014, so they hope to land two of the best at running back again in 2018.

AUBURN

2018 COMMITS

THE SITUATION

Auburn is done at running back in 2018. Martin is a back with size and the ability to stay on the field for three downs. Shivers is a versatile athlete who could play running back, work out of the slot and be a factor on special teams. This is a strong combination.

FLORIDA

2018 COMMITS

THE SITUATION

The Gators offense hasn’t exactly wowed recently, but if there’s one thing that does look good, it’s the Florida running backs. Even with a talented stable of backs, the Gators are set to welcome two more four-star prospects, both from out of state. The duo is among the best in the country in any school’s class, let alone the SEC.

TENNESSEE

2018 COMMITS

THE SITUATION

With junior running back John Kelly likely to consider the NFL Draft following this season, it’s key for the Vols to land two running backs in this year’s class. Dixon is a change-of-pace back that can also contribute in the passing game while Dixon is more of a north-south runner. The Vols have done a nice job of developing backs in recent years and have a pair of quality prospects in the class.

SOUTH CAROLINA

2018 COMMITS

THE SITUATION

The running game is one area where the Gamecocks could use some improvement and with a pair of talented Florida prospects, help is on the way. Both prospects are bigger backs and should be a nice fit in South Carolina’s current offensive scheme.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

2018 COMMITS

THE SITUATION

The Bulldogs have two running backs committed and Dan Mullen looks to be done at this position this cycle. Franklin is the No. 1-ranked back in Mississippi, so keeping him home is big for the Bulldogs. They went into Alabama to land Webb, Mr. Football in 2017, for their second back. Both are productive and could push for playing time in 2018.

LSU

2018 COMMITS

TOP TARGET

LSU has had an embarrassment of riches at the running back position in recent years with stars like Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice. This year’s class features a pair of three-star backs that the coaching staff is very high on but that didn’t receive the type of nationwide attention as other the other big names in recent years. It will be interesting to see how they fit in, especially if Guice leaves early for the NFL Draft.

MISSOURI

2018 COMMIT

TOP TARGET

THE SITUATION

Knox shows up on Missouri’s commitment list as a running back, but he is actually being recruited to play the slot position due to his skill-set. The Tigers have had success in Montgomery (Ala.) this cycle and they’d love to have more with Smoke. He seems to be their guy, but Baylor commit Craig Williams is another one to keep an eye on.

ARKANSAS

2018 COMMIT

THE SITUATION

Arkansas has a commitment from Gibson, a running back out of Louisiana, and he is likely the only one they take in this class. The Razorbacks will only sign in the mid to high teens this cycle, so the numbers are tight. They also will have four running backs returning next season. If there is a name to watch, it would be former Alabama running back B.J. Emmons, who is at Hutchinson (Kans.) Community College.

OLE MISS

2018 COMMIT

TOP TARGET

THE SITUATION

The Rebels have a commitment from Phillips, with numerous other backs on the board. Will that board change once a new head coach is hired after the season? Howard’s name will likely stay high regardless of who the coach is. He is an in-state kid with size and power. Other names to track currently with offers are Jalynn Sykes and Maurice Washington.

KENTUCKY

2018 COMMIT

THE SITUATION

Kentucky identified Rodriguez as the guy at the position in this year’s class and took his commitment after getting him on campus during the summer. It appears the powerful back will be the only running back in the class for Kentucky, which has a solid stable of backs on its current roster.

TEXAS A&M

2018 COMMIT

THE SITUATION

The Aggies have offered just three running backs in the 2018 class and it appears they have their man in Prince. The big-bodied back has kept a low profile on the recruiting trail, but clearly the Texas A&M coaches like his fit and bigger backs have had success in College Station in recent years.

VANDERBILT

2018 COMMIT

THE SITUATION

Vanderibilt has done a nice job turning former three-star Ralph Webb into a top-flight SEC back and Commodores fans will hope they can do it again with Marlow. Like Webb, a Florida native, Marlow has good size and speed and projects well into the Vanderbilt offense.

ALABAMA

TOP TARGET

Running back is not a huge need in this class, so the Crimson Tide are being very selective. Alabama likes bigger running backs like Bo Scarbrough and Derrick Henry, and they could be in position to land another one in 2018. Joiner is a talent in its home state and the Tide are trending right now. He looks like a high school defensive end, but he is a running back with great athleticism. Jerome Ford, Chris Curry (LSU commit) and Devin Brumfield (Texas Tech commit) are others to follow.

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