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June 11, 2012
Positional breakdown: RBs loaded at Challenge
Rivals.com, the nation's leader in football recruiting coverage, is bringing 100 of the country's top prospects to participate in the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. The free, invite-only camp for the nation's elite will feature 80 prospects from the 2013 class and 20 prospects from the 2014 class.
Each position group is loaded, including the running backs, today's featured group.
Greg Bryant, Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage Justin Davis, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln Leonard Fournette New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine (2014) Derrick Green, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage Taquan Mizzell, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Green made a huge jump in the latest release of Rivals100, moving from the No. 64 to the No. 12 overall prospect in the country. The 6-foot, 215-pounder was also named a five-star prospect and the top running back in the country. Timed recently at a sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash, he has an incredible combination of size and speed. He could be really tough for linebackers to cover out of the backfield.
With only five running backs invited to participate, it is hard to call any of them a sleeper. However, the least well-known would be Fournette. Even though he claims more than 90 offers already, he just finished his sophomore year. The 6-foot, 210-pound back has been a known name in the state of Louisiana since he ran for more than 1,700 yards as a freshman and he beat out the likes of Altee Tenpenny, Keith Ford and Ezekiel Elliott for a spot on the Southwest team.
Though only one running back is on each of the four teams, there are five on the camp roster. That is because Mizzell, the nation's No. 43 overall prospect and No. 6 back, will actually play wide receiver at the camp. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound speedster is very good catching the ball out of the backfield and he was simply too good to leave off the camp roster. He should be a very dangerous weapon for his team lining up in the slot.
BATTLING FOR RESPECT
Davis is ranked as the No. 41 overall prospect and the No. 5 running back in the country. It's quite unexpected, then, that he is not even the highest-rated player on his own team's commitment list. The USC pledge is joined by the nation's No. 3 back Ty Isaac as a future Trojan. Isaac is from Illinois, so this event will be a chance for analysts who have seen Isaac to see Davis in person. Davis could make a run toward being the highest-ranked USC running back commit.
KEEP AN EYE ON
All four prospects actually playing running back at the event are big backs with Bryant being the "small" guy at 5-foot-11, 197 pounds. A lot of times, bigger backs are not great as receiving threats. If any of them prove to be solid receivers, it could certainly help their stock, knowing they can do more than simply be bruisers at the next level.