Big Running Back Likes the Tide and ESPN GameDay

The predominant defensive philosophy in college football is to crowd the line-of-scrimmage and stop the run by placing extra defenders "in the box." Consequently, offensive coaches are attacking with spread offenses or strong running backs capable of breaking tackles. Ronnie Osborne, a 6-foot-2, 212-pound running back from Piedmont, Oklahoma, could provide the latter of those two options. Of course, his size could also provide additional options for the program he chooses.

"Ronnie has a great combination of size and speed," said Piedmont High School Head Coach Steve Lykes. "His best football is in front of him and he can play more than one position. Ronnie's future is unlimited."

A look at his past reveals that Osborne has proven spectacular and consistent. As a sophomore, Osborne rushed for 2,143 yards and 26 touchdowns. He followed up with 2,082 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. Over those two seasons, Osborne averaged 201 yards rushing per game.

Many prospects are moved to new positions on the college level. Still, many prospects will make their recruiting decisions based on the hope of remaining at their prep position. The type of offense a team runs will have no bearing on Osborne's decision.

"The type of offense has no input on my decision," said Osborne. "I could get moved to another position anyway. I'm a versatile player and I will play another position if asked."

At this point in the process, Osborne has scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida, and Oklahoma State. Those three programs, along with two other familiar college football names are on Osborne's early list.

"My top five are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Florida, and Notre Dame," said Osborne. "Academics are important to me. I'm also looking at how the coaches and players get along. It just has to be the right place for me."

Osborne likes the storied tradition of the Crimson Tide and the amount of television coverage. Not surprisingly, the recent announcement by ESPN of the selection of the Alabama/UCLA game for ‘GameDay' has caught Osborne's attention.

"I like the rich tradition at Alabama," said Osborne. "They're on TV a lot. ‘GameDay' is going to be there for the Alabama/UCLA game and I may come, too. It would be ‘cool' to see Lee Corso and those guys."

There are other reasons why Osborne is looking at Alabama and one is a familiar refrain shared by many of the prospects considering the Tide. The coaching staff is once again a strong factor in Alabama's favor.

"I really like the coaches at Alabama," said Osborne. "Especially, Coach (Chris) Thurmond."

Editor's Note: Ronnie Osborne is on track to qualify with a 2.9 GPA and an 18 on the ACT. Additionally, he averaged 23 points per game in basketball.

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