Army Signing Day Review: Running Back

Jeff Monken has signed one of the top Army recruiting classes in years. Armysports.com will now review that class, position by position. In this segment we discuss the running backs.

With the graduation of Larry Dixon, Raymond Maples, Terry Baggett and Tony Giovanelli the Army backfield needs to be rebuilt. While the Ellerson staff recruited well at this position early in their tenure the last few classes suffered massive attrition. Jeff Monken's staff returned to their old stomping grounds in slotback Tyler Campbell. He is a 6-1", 175 pound running back from Georgia. Army's offensive coordinator Brent Davis had recruited his older brother Myles to Georgia Southern. Campbell is listed as a quarterback on Scout.com where he started his high school career but he was moved to wide receiver at Peachtree Ridge. His senior year he produced more than 600 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. He'll be a direct admit and is expected to be used as a slotback in the Army offense. Campbell chose Army over offers from Air Force, Princeton, Stetson, and Yale.

Drue Harris is a talented 6-foot, 220 pound fullback from Fountain-Fort Carson High school in Colorado. Harris ran for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season. He originally committed to Colorado State but the hard-charging fullback lost his offer when Mike Bobo took over for Jim McElwain who departed to become the new coach at Florida. It left Harris who originally had offers from Air Force, Northern Colorado and Wyoming without a Division I offer late in the process. Army's strong push help land Harris. Harris played outside linebacker as well but was recruited as a fullback.

Kevin Hicks (5-10", 195) played at three different high schools during his high school career. As a senior at Bishop Sullivan high school in Virginia he ran for 1,689 rushing yards on 156 carries and scored 24 touchdowns. Hicks was named first team All-Tidewater Conference and the Offensive Player of the Year. Hicks is very quick and runs hard between the tackles. His forty yard dash time is greatly exaggerated but he did run away from defenders in the open field. His father is a retired Army major. He probably will play slotback but with his running style he could be used as an undersized B-back.

Army beat out fellow service academies Navy and Air Force for speedy slotback recruit Jordan Asberry from Colerain high school in Ohio. Asberry (5-9", 165) was named first-team all-GMC and was a team captain this past season. Asberry ran the ball 62 times for 467 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season. He also had 17 receptions for 436 yards and six touchdowns. Jordan had a 97- yard touchdown reception. He had five kickoff returns for 184 yards and a touchdown. Asberry has the type of speed that is ideal at slotback in the spread option system. He has run a personal best of 10.93 in the 100-meters dash and is very explosive.

Donovan Franklin ( 5-9", 180) from Maryland was an under the radar slotback recruit. Franklin started his career at Old Mill playing a hybrid linebacker/free safety position. In his sophomore year, he made three picks, four sacks and posted 86 tackles. He remained in that role as a junior but was moved to running back in his senior season. Franklin had a huge senior year with more than 1,800 rushing yards and over 2,000 all-purpose yards. He was named first team All-Anne Arundel County, first team All-Metro by the Baltimore Sun. Franklin is a slashing runner with good speed in the 4.6 range and nice run skills.

Connor Slomka is a 6-foot, 205- pound running back and linebacker from Pine-Richland high school in Pennsylvania. He was a two sport star who originally committed to Ohio State for lacrosse but decided to play football for Army. Slomka rushed for 1,144 yards and 17 scores last season. His father Jim was a West Point graduate and played defensive line at Army. Slomka has solid speed and runs more like a fullback but his best position may be linebacker.

Slotback Calen Taylor is a 5-8", 165 pound recruit from Christian Brothers Collegiate in Missouri. Taylor was a three year starter who has excellent quickness and 4.5 speed. His coach Pingel told Armysports.com's Richard Stover that Calen can “can flat out fly" and "is also a helluva blocker". Taylor was named First Team All-Conference the last two years. Dejoun Lee (5-9", 170) from Virginia is another very fast, undersized slotback recruit with legitimate top end speed. Lee excelled on both sides of the ball in high school. He was only one of two players in the state of Virginia with more than 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards during the 2014 season. Lee has posted a 10.93 time in the 100-meter dash. Dejoun is a direct admit recruit who has the potential to help early.

Josh Walker is a small shifty runner with excellent quickness, 4.5 speed. Walker (5-6", 160) played offense and defense for Jacobs high school in Illinois but he will be a slotback at Army. As a senior he ran 143 times for 1,207 yards, an 8.4 yard average, with 17 rushing touchdowns. Josh added 17 receptions for 241 receiving yards and two scores. As a junior he rushed for 1,054 yards and 13 touchdowns. Walker's dad, Greg, was a starting defensive back at Syracuse. Josh will start his career at the United States Military Academy Prep school.

Kellyen Walker (5-9", 177) is a slotback commit from Lakeside high school in Georgia. Walker ran for 1,312 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns last season. Walker had a breakout senior season. Kellyen was a four year starter and earned All-DeKalb County and All-Region honors in 2014. He was an impact player on special teams with both a 99-yard kickoff return and a 99-yard punt return scores last year. Walker can cut and offers good acceleration. He has run an 11.34 100-meter dash. He chose Army over offers from Hampton, Presbyterian and South Carolina State.

Chris Shelling (5-9", 165) was a three-year starter for Central Gwinnett high school in Georgia. He was named first team All-County. Chris was used as both a running back and slot receiver. He caught 54 passes for 731 yards and four touchdowns in 2014. Shelling had 1,156 all-purpose yards and ten touchdowns in 2014. Shelling who has good speed and while listed as a wide receiver will be moved to slotback with the Black Knights. Shelling chose Army over offers from Lenior-Rhyne which is the Division II program now coached by former Army offensive coordinator Ian Shields.

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