Early look: 2010 running backs

Clemson signed the No. 1 running back in South Carolina in 2009 and it will look there again in 2010. Get a look at the 2010 backs on Clemson's radar here.

In the mid-to-late 1980's, and honestly, even before that, Clemson University regularly signed some of the top running backs in the nation.

From Terrence Flagler and Kenny Flowers to Terry Allen and Ronald Williams, year-in and year-out the Tigers boasted one of the nation's top backfields when it came to running backs.

And earlier this decade, the same trend began to build again, this time with the signing of Douglass High's (Ga.) James Davis, who was then rated four-stars by Scout.com.

From there, the Tigers added the services of a pair of five-star backs from Florida in C.J. Spiller, the No. 4 running back in the class of 2006 Jamie Harper, the No. 5 running back in the class of 2008, as well as Andre Ellington, another quality four-star back.

The Tigers also signed the No. 1 running back in South Carolina earlier this month in Sumter's Roderick McDowell.

The question is ... will that trend of signing top talent in the offensive backfield continue into the 2010 recruiting class?

CUTigers now takes a closer look at the top prospects currently on the board for the Clemson coaching staff for the class of 2010:

The first running back to get an offer from Clemson in the 2010 recruiting class is Scout.com's current No. 1 prospect in the nation, Marcus Lattimore.

Lattimore, considered a Clemson lean two years ago, is admittedly open even though it is commonly believed South Carolina has the slight edge.

Lattimore is a strong back, good blocker, and has receiver-like hands out of the backfield. A legitimate work-horse, he tends gets better as the game goes on, and he has uncanny vision where he sees things many don't.

If he lacks anything, it is that second gear, but he has everything else.

South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama all figure to be in the mix for his services, but there isn't a school in the country that doesn't want him.

Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore is one of the most coveted prospects in the nation for class of 2010.
Clemson's Billy Napier has been in recruiter of record, but new recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott will also now be involved as well.

As a junior, the 6-foot, 210-pound back finished the season with 219 carries for 1,755 and seven touchdowns, leading Byrnes to another state championship.

The Clemson coaching staff has also extended a scholarship offer to the state's No. 2 running back, Irmo's Mustafa Greene.

Rushing for over 1,300 yards and scored 13 touchdowns last season, Greene is viewed as a legitimate FBS player and has the offer list to show for it.

Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State and a host of others have already gotten on board.

Defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison is now responsible for recruiting the Midlands region of South Carolina Richland and Lexington counties.

Greene is likely to debut as a four-star prospect later this year in Scout.com's rankings.

Other running backs in South Carolina CUTigers will be tracking in the coming weeks and months include South Pointe's Quentin Darby and Alledale-Fairfax's Jerrell Priester.

Priester rushed for over 1,100 yards and scored 12 touchdowns last season and could be a candidate to play on either side of the ball.

Darby was instrumental in leading his team to a state championship after rushing for over 1,000 yards.

If you are looking for an under the radar running back who won't be under the radar for too much longer, look no further than James White, from Ft. Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas.

Ft. Lauderdale's James White already boasts a Clemson offer and was on campus last year for one of former head coach Tommy Bowden's sumer time camps.
White was on campus last year for one of Clemson's summer time camps and showed outstanding explosiveness, good hands and even good power for a back of his size (5-9, 180).

His main recruiter to Tigertown, David Blackwell, identified him early in the process and Clemson is sqaurely in contention for his services.

As part of one of the top combination backfields in the country last year, White rushed for 934 yards and scored 17 touchdowns at St. Thomas Aquinas won its fifth state championship.

Staying in the Sunshine state, the Tigers appear to be in good position with Jacksonville native Jawan Jamison.

Billy Napier offered him last spring and he will be one of many prospects expected to be on campus next month for Clemson's second Junior Day.

Miami is also one of his top schools early in the recruiting process but the Tigers were the first team to move in with an official scholarship offer.

Jamison was also on campus for Clemson's Junior Day this past weekend. (CUTigers will have more on this trip later this week.)

The Clemson coaching staff has also extended a scholarship offer to Peach state standout Mack Brown.

Brown is explosive, and like Lattimore, can catch the ball well out of the backfield.

He also has great balance, and he can run inside or outside. Brown has ideal size, speed, and vision, so expect to hear a lot about him in the coming months.

Florida is on top early, but Georgia is right behind them and he will be visiting Athens this week. The good news from a Clemson perspective is he does not plan to make an early decision.

In 11 games, Brown rushed for 1,712 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior.

Clemson's Chris Rumph is Brown's recruiter to Tigertown.

Other out-of-state prospects on Clemson's early 2010 radar include Alabama's D.J. Howard and Demont Buice and College Park, Ga. native Derrick Williams, among others.

NOTE: The above-mentioned running back prospects are only a handful of the targets currently on Clemson's 2010 recruiting board at running back. Considering all of the talent that is currently stockpiled at the position going into the 2009 season, you can be sure the staff will be selective in who receives an offer and who doesn't.

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