One of the top underclass performances coming out of this past weekend's Rivals.com/VTO Elite 100 Showcase two-stop Midwest tour was that of Cincinnati (Ohio) Lakota East running back Mikel Horton.
Measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 228 pounds, Horton is a big back, especially for a sophomore. Camp settings are not traditionally great showcases for big backs, but Horton excelled in Cincinnati on Saturday and earned a nod as one of the top overall performers at the event.
"The competition was great and there were a lot of great athletes out there," Horton noted. "I felt I put enough work in to compete and I've been training hard for it.
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"I know a lot of people think I'm just a big back and all I probably do is just run over people. That is one of my specialties, but I can also get out of breaks, chop down and move. I'm more agile than most people think and that's why I felt I could produce out there."
The skills Horton detailed certainly came through in his performance this past weekend. The big back has great feet, and showed he was adept at not only running with the football, but catching the ball out of the backfield as well.
The college scholarship offers have yet to come through for Horton, but with the skill set he displayed this past weekend, the class of 2014 prospect promises to be a highly pursued target and several big name programs are already starting to show interest. Cincinnati coaches visited his school earlier this week, and letters have come in from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Michigan State, Georgia and Ohio State.
"I'm supposed to be going to Ohio State's spring game and I'm supposed to be going to Notre Dame's spring game, but I haven't decided [which one to attend] yet," Horton said.
Horton has an idea of what he is looking for in a college and had already begun identifying some schools that may fit his skill set before his recruiting process began.
"I knew I was going to be a big kid from the start, so I heard a lot of things that I was going to be too big and a lot of teams like short running backs," Horton said. "I wanted to be at a school that would fit me and likes a big back, so I came up on Florida and I liked Michigan State when I was younger."
Another school that Horton is very familiar is Ohio State. He has been well aware of the in-state program since early in life.
"Ohio State is a great school," Horton said. "It is my home state, and my grandfather liked them a lot so I grew up on that and been to a couple games."
Horton started off his high school career last fall in the backfield for Lakota East, rushing for 662 yards and nine touchdowns on 150 carries.