Texas: The Year of the Back

By the time it is all said and done the 2011 running back crop in Texas will likely be remembered as one of the most talented groups to come out in some time. It is also a very balanced class as the prospects all have a specific set of special skills.

At the Top

Cibolo Steele running back Malcolm Brown is a real load at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and he reminds me of some of the more special power backs like Adrian Peterson, Knowshon Moreno or Beanie Wells that have recently went on from college to have success in the NFL. When you watch Brown you feel like you are seeing exactly what a running back is supposed to be. He has great size and runs with authority. When he sees a hole or has to get past a defender he makes one move and then explodes making him an elusive back with size. He also has tremendous balance which allows him to stay on his feet when lower his shoulder to deliver a blow or spinning away from defenders.

A Close Second

To me Abilene's Herschel Sims is a close second to Brown. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, Sims is a home-run back who makes big plays in big games. He has some very sick moves in the open field making him one of the toughest players in the game to bring down in a one-on-one scenario.

Sims the next Barry Sanders
He will remind many people of Ladanian Tomlinson, because he has great hands so he is also able to make some big plays in the passing game. But when watching him make moves in the open field I could only think of one person… Barry Sanders.

Best of the Rest

Kenny Williams, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound grinder from Hendrickson is pushing to the forefront of many wish lists and schools are starting to line up to try to get in on him before he goes national, but his time has now come. Williams may be the most punishing runner in the country. He hits the hole with authority and is a traditional runner that has a lot more shake and bake to his game than many people give him credit for. He probably does not have the top end speed of some of the aformentioned backs, but he is not going to be ran down from behind and has the wheels to take the ball to the house. He always keeps his legs pumping and will grind out the extra tough yardage in the trenches.

Aaron Green, a 5-foot-9, 175-pounder from SA Madison High is a complete back. With the exception of his size, Green is everything you look for in an elite back. He has excellent acceleration, maintains good top end speed, has the ability to shift gears and change direction at the drop of a dime. And because of his low center of gravity he has phenomenal balance. He has struggled with some recent injuries and had a better sophomore season than he did as a junior, but he is one of the most highly sought after recruits in the country regardless of position.

Odessa High is home to one of the best two-sport athletes in the country, Bradley Marquez. The 5-foot-11, 175 pounder is also a standout baseball player that runs a lot bigger than his size may indicate. He is a quick back with good vision and speed. He hits the hole hard and likes to bounce his way to the outside. Marquez is excellent in the open field where he shows good cutting ability and the ability to just make people miss. Once he's by you Marquez is tough to catch.

Brandon Williams, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound runner from Royal High is right on the heels of the other backs already mentioned and has the special ability to be a home run threat every time that he touches the ball. He is a slashing type of runner that hits the seam extremely hard and his explosion allows him to leave defenders sometimes just grasping at air. He brings a little bit of everything to the table. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, he has good speed, and can run with power at times. He is already committed to Baylor and if his commitment sticks then he will be one of the most highly thought of recruits to ever sign with the Bears.

Daniel Lasco
The Woodland's Daniel Lasco is a great athlete at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. He has that look about him and is just starting to come in to his own physically. He is long and moves well but the thing that sticks out about him the most is the way he is able to turn up the heat and perform at his best against the bigger and stronger opponents. His game translates well to the next level because he is a shifty runner with excellent balance. He knows when to make a man miss, and when to bury his head into a pile. He combines tremendous instincts and explosiveness, which makes him a complete every down type of back.

Other Notables: Joe Bergeron (North Mesquite), K.C. Nlemchi (Cinco Ranch), Cory Franklin (Everman), Jermichael Selders (Cy-Creek), David Cobb (Killeen), Tevin Williams (Euless Trinity), James Myles (Stephenville), Kenny Farrow (L.D. Bell), Tra Carson (Liberty-Eylau), Jarrell Oliver (Dulles)

Rank the Top 10

As much fun as it is watching all of the film on these great prospects now is where the hard part comes in when you have to try to rank them…

Alright we stuck to our guns and put Brown at the top, but now its time to make the call and put them in order after that.

Good luck you say?

Well I did my best.

1. Malcolm Brown
2. Herschel Sims
3. Aaron Green
4. Kenny Williams
5. Brandon Williams
6. Bradley Marquez
7. Daniel Lasco
8. Joe Bergeron
9. K.C. Nlemchi
10. Jarell Oliver

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