With the updated Rival 250 unveiled on Tuesday, now is the time to dive into the position rankings. The ranking of offensive positions is being published today and the next one is Running Back.
No. Step 1: Ruben Owens II
Nationally there is a cluster of backs in the top 33 but it is Owens who is the 20th highest overall and the first player outside the five star rankings. El Campo, Texas, the standout was discussed as a five-star candidate in the publication of this ranking but it was decided to keep it off until we see him more against the national competition next month.
Bufford, Ga. The high four-star Justice Haynes and Richard Young of Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh are also highly regarded in the rankings but Owens is a bit ahead at this point.
Owens’ recruitment could get really interesting – or not at all. Many believe Texas is a losing program and he has hinted that Longhorns are high on the list. But Texas A&M is right there and probably closed the gap, he has just visited TCU and rumors of Lewisville have been circulating recently.
Two programs to watch: Georgia and Texas
Georgia has no problem recruiting backs to the race and if a serious surprise is not saved, the Bulldogs should land Haynes even though Florida and others are pushing hard. Haynes is a legacy, he has long been high on Georgia and his relationship with the position coach Dale McGregor Very strong.
From there, it became attractive to bulldogs. They were in the mix for Owens but it looks like it fell. A riser in the rankings, Jeremiah Love had a recent tour of Athens so they could move up the list but it seems Michigan and Notre Dame are ahead there. A return to this category is sufficient because Haynes is that good but not out of a second question.
Like so much in this recruitment class, Arch Manning can also have an impact on its final destination, as it refers to running backs. If Manning ends with Longhorn, it will be a shock if Owens goes elsewhere. If Manning goes to Georgia, maybe the Bulldogs will return to Owens Sweepstakes.
Either way, Texas is a team to watch. Owens is a top target but Longhorns is also bringing four-star Cedric Baxter from Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater on a tour as they are one of the final candidates for his appointment. All-purpose back Tre Wisner is already committed to Texas.
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Three possibilities to see: Richard Young, Jeremiah Love, Caleb Jackson
Richard Young can come back the best run in this category – he is definitely an impressive body model – and only time will tell where he is in the rankings. Alabama seems to have a health advantage in its recruitment. But Georgia, Florida and now especially Oregon are running after him seriously after meeting Eugene and expecting him to return. Still, you would be surprised to see him somewhere other than Tascalosa.
Running back to No. 3, Jeremiah Love had staggering stats last season not only because he had to share the ball with other running backs but in some ways it was a positive reason for his long-term outlook. This is the freshest foot in the running back crop. He loved his Georgia trip but my guess is that the St. Louis (Md.) Christian Brothers recruitment is the most serious about Notre Dame and Michigan.
When it comes to Caleb Jackson, things seem to be one of the two. The LSU arrived late but now the Tigers have offered that it could be attractive enough to pull the trigger on the Baton Rouge (La.) Liberty Magnet and run four-star right down the street to stay home. Coach running back Brian KellyEarlier, he had committed a crime for a large salary. The second option would be for Jackson to move to Texas A&M where he received more attention before his appointment. The Aggies are building a monster and could improve at Jackson College Station as well.