Alabama Recruiting: Running backs

The University of Alabama is sitting with 17 commitments in the 2012 class. The Tide has two running backs committed, but still in the hunt for more than one of the nation's best.

Two of the South's top running backs, Kenyan Drake and Justin Taylor, committed in the 2012 class and solid with their decision. The staff is looking to add another top-tier back.

Barry Sanders

The National 100 running back, from Oklahoma City-Heritage Hall, Okla., hasn't talked with the media much during the past few months. It's been tough to gauge which schools remain in the hunt, but he recently spoke with

"I'm to the point where after my officials (visits) I'll be able to make my decision," Barry Sanders said. "I've been to each campus a least twice that I am sincerely interested in, and here in a few months I will take my official visit to Stanford October 1, and I believe that they play UCLA and then go from there.

"I will definitely take my Alabama trip during the season. I am going to the Florida State-OU game in Tallahassee, but that is unofficial, and I will be (at) OSU games unofficially and then take my official to those schools after the season."

Russel Shell

The five-star running back, from Aliquippa-Hopewell, Pa., never visited Tuscaloosa. He will announce his college decision October 14. He has taken visits to Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Syracuse and North Carolina. He eliminated Ohio State and North Carolina. Shell has already made the decision, but is waiting until October to announce on national TV. CBS Pittsburgh reported Shell is down to Pittsburgh, Florida, Virginia Tech and Alabama.

Keith Marshall

The five-star running back, from Raleigh-Millbrook, N.C., is rated the top running back in the country. He has scheduled official visits to Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame. Alabama is in the mix for one of his final two visits, but the Tide remains a long shot. Marshall will announce his college choice at the Under Armour All-America game in January.

T.J. Yeldon

The four-star running back from Daphne, Ala., committed to Auburn in mid-June. Alabama has continued to keep him on their radar with teammate, Ryan Anderson, already committed to the Tide. An official visit is a possibility, but Yeldon remains solid with his commitment.

Other prospects might emerge during the season who the Alabama staff is keeping a close watch as their season progresses.

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