Army Incoming: A and C Backs continues to look at this year's incoming freshman class by position. The new "A" and "C" running back class reflect Rich Ellerson focus on improving the speed and explosiveness of the program. The "A" back position is a combination back that lines up in backfield and alternates from being the dive and pitch back.

The position demands more inside running especially on the counter and veer plays Army ran last year. The" C' back is the pitch back and receives handoffs on the fly sweep. Offensive coordinator Ian Shields wants the "C "backs to have excellent speed, be good receivers and show the ability to cut block in space. Head coach Rich Ellerson has spoken about his desire of finding backs that can produce a little "magic" with the ball in their hands. This recruiting class of running backs is the fastest and deepest single Army recruiting class I can remember in my nearly 30 years of following Army football. will now take a look at the new Black Knights A and C running backs.

Trenton Turrentine played "A" back at the United States Military Academy Prep school last year. He should make an impact on the depth chart this season. A native of Keller, Texas who played for Carrollton Central High School, in 2009 Trenton rushed for 600 yards on 138 carries and scored 11 touchdowns. Turrentine is a 5-9, 209 pound back with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. Turrentine's father, Larry, played linebacker at West Point and graduated in 1981.

Last season at the prep school Turrentine had to adapt from being a high school running back in a spread offense to playing "A "back for USMAPS. Turrentine was initially uncomfortable in the system running laterally to the line of scrimmage the way a pitch back must do in an option offense. He improved as the season wore on. Turrentine's best game was against Kings College JV when he scored three touchdowns. In the Stevens Tech game Trenton showed his speed when he took an option pitch 24 yards for a touchdown. Against Navy prep he was the best back on the field, running for over 100 yards and scoring a touchdown.

Turrentine's running style is similar to legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. While obviously he's not that talented, Trenton runs with high knee action and finishes his runs by attacking defenders. He's a strong downhill runner who runs hard once his shoulders are squared. Turrentine has good speed, can make people miss but also lowers his shoulders to break tackles and regularly bounces off the pile. Like most high school running backs, Turrentine wasn't a very good blocker when he arrived at the prep school but he really improved as the season progressed. Trenton doesn't possess the best natural hands and needs to focus on ball security to upgrade his game. Turrentine chose Army over offers from Central Arkansas, Columbia, Cornell, Idaho State and a late push by Air Force to switch his commitment.

Last year's USMAPS starter at "C" back was Stephen Fraser. Fraser is a fine all around talent from Tucson, Arizona. The 5-10, 185 pound Fraser was voted first team All-State as a high school senior. His senior year at Sabino high school he rushed for 1,472 yards and scored 19 TDs. During his junior year Stephen ran for 1,550 yards and produced 21 touchdowns.

Fraser showed his speed scoring a touchdown on pitch against Hudson Valley CC. Stephen had another nice run against Nassau Community College when he took a pitch the distance. Fraser is a good player who is fundamentally sound with very good quickness and speed. A north-south runner, Fraser can accelerate and always looks to turn the ball up the field. He catches the ball well and doesn't make many mistakes. He was the best blocker among the A and C backs at the prep school last year.

It's interesting to note that the 2010 USMAPS class was so deep that the two fastest running backs were backups. Marcus Jackson and Ryan Morgan are similar in that both are about the same size, both played C back and spent some time at defensive back. Both Jackson and Morgan can fly.

Marcus Jackson is a 5-11, 180 pound running back from Lindale, Georgia. Jackson's father was a former running back for the Georgia Bulldogs. Jackson rushed for over 1,110 yards his senior year. The long striding Jackson's top end speed is well documented. Marcus won the Georgia state 400 meter title in both his junior and senior seasons. His personal best was 48.49 his senior season. Jackson has run a 10.9 100 meter dash.

Jackson appeared at" C" back most of the year until pressed into playing cornerback in the finale against Navy. He flashed his speed on a fly sweep against Milford Academy when he took a handoff for a touchdown. In the Stevens Tech game he capped the scoring when he took another handoff on a fly sweep and accelerated past the linebackers to cruise in for a 14 yard touchdown. As a cornerback Jackson posted three tackles and broke up two passes against Navy Prep. Unfortunately, he was beat on a post corner move as NAPS completed a touchdown pass against him in the final minute to beat Army prep. With the depth at "C" back I think the staff likes Jackson better as a cornerback. He has the ability to play both positions but he's currently more accomplished as a running back. Jackson chose Army over offers from Navy and Air Force.

Ryan Morgan played mostly "C" back last year at the prep school but like Jackson, he saw some time at cornerback. He is a 5-11, 170 pound player from Ramona, California. At Ramona high school Morgan ran for 1,620 yards and scored 17 touchdowns his senior year. He returned 12 kickoffs for 330 yards. Ryan earned First team All-Valley league honors. Morgan missed five games his junior year with a broken toe but still rushed for 714 yards and scored 14 touchdowns while averaging 7.4 yards a carry. Morgan has legit 4.5 speed and demonstrated it on touchdown run against Stevens Tech. Against Nassau Community College's talented defense Morgan nearly took an option pitch the distance. In the blowout win over Kings College JV Morgan scored two touchdowns on fly sweeps to put the contest out of reach.

Morgan has excellent acceleration and can turn the corner. He's a natural cutback runner with excellent vision. Ryan doesn't appear to be as big as his listed size. He plays hard but with his small frame might struggle running inside on the FBS level. He needs to improve as a blocker. The staff plans to look at him initially at wide receiver to see if his speed can stretch the field. He'll probably need at least a year on the JV team and in strength coach Brett Gerch's weight room before he'll be ready to contribute with the varsity.

Among the direct admits Terrence Baggett demonstrated on the high school level the ability to produce a little "magic" with the ball in his hands that Rich Ellerson looks for in a runner. Baggett is an exciting talent who was added very late in the recruiting process. Baggett was a two sport star who last year rushed for 1,933 yards, averaging almost 12 yards a carry, and scored an amazing 32 touchdowns for Whitney Young High School in Chicago, Illinois. He also passed for two touchdowns.

Baggett is a terrific athlete who played guard and was the captain for his high school basketball team that made it to the state finals his junior year. Baggett is 6-1, 200 pounds and runs on 4.58 forty yard dash. He is a slashing, cutback runner with excellent vision who is able to make the first man miss consistently; he can stop, juke and accelerate. He can run away from defenders and is strong enough to break tackles. Baggett chose Army over an offer from Central Michigan. He has a chance to see time with the varsity this year.

Running back Tony Giovannelli was another direct admit who took the oath on R-day. Giovannelli is six feet tall and weighs 180. The Illinois native has run a combine timed 4.55 and was recruited by Joe Ross. Giovannelli played both offense and defense last year. Tony rushed for 1,062 rush yards and scored 28 touchdowns. As a defensive back he produced three interceptions and 72 tackles. Giovannelli was named to the Coaches Poll All-State, AP Poll All-State, All-Conference and Academic All-Conference last season. Like many players recruited by Ellerson, Giovannelli is an accomplished track athlete. For his high school track team he ran the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters. His best time in the 100 meters was 10.9.

Logan Pearce, sister Taylor just graduated from West Point, was born to be a cadet. Pearce stated, "I would attend West Point even I wasn't offered to play football at Army." Fortunately the 6-0, 190 pound running back from North Royalton, Ohio didn't have to worry about that as he was offered by the staff. Logan was one of the first players to commit this past recruiting season. Pearce rushed for over 1,400 yards as a senior and scored 16 touchdowns. Like most athletes recruited by the Army staff Pearce has position flexibility and could project to a number of positions on either side of the ball.

Lawrence Scott played running back and defensive back for Parkway South in St. Louis, Missouri. He scored 11 touchdowns running, passing and receiving last season. Scott was one of the fastest high school football players in Missouri last year. Like many Army recruits, Scott's speed has been proven on the track. Lawrence has run 10.8 in the 100-meter dash and 21.91 in the 200-meter dash..

The 5-11, 190 pound Scott was Parkway South's leading receiver as a senior when he caught 23 passes for 331 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran the ball 43 times for 305 yards, an average of 7.1 yards per carry, and scored another five touchdowns. Scott added a kickoff return for a touchdown. Scott produced a team-high 856 yards (658 rushing, 198 receiving) and eight touchdowns as a junior. In reviewing his film Scott looks like a football player who runs track rather than how Alfred McDaniel, Army's track star, looked trying to play football in 2009. Lawrence has excellent hands and some moves. He has exceptional acceleration, can turn the corner and is a legitimate home run threat. At the high school level if Scott was even with you he was leaving you in the dust. Scott could play "C' back, wide receiver or cornerback.

Next: A look at the incoming wide receivers. Top Stories