Here's a look at another deep group of running backs from the Sunshine State. There are also two fullbacks that made the list.Florida QBs: 15 in ‘15
1) Jordan Scarlett (Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas)
No. 4 RB in nation
Scarlett is the top running back prospect in the state. He looks physically like he is college right now. He has great balance and strength. Scarlett runs behind his pads very well and gets those tough yards after contact. While it’s hard to gauge running backs at The Opening he was impressive. He was much faster (4.4 forty) that I expected and showed surprising short area quickness in one on one drills versus linebackers. Scarlett is also improving as a receiving out of the backfield. Last December he gave his pledge to Florida Atlantic but recently backed off that decision and is now headed to Coral Gables. Scarlett is one of four elite running backs headed to the Hurricanes.
Committed to Miami
2) Jacques Patrick (Orlando Timber Creek)
No. 7 RB in nation
Patrick is arguably the top big back in the country. This kid looks like a tight end playing running back. He's an outstanding runner between the tackles. Patrick runs with tremendous power and pad level. If he gets going downhill and his shoulders square he's a load to bring down. Patrick also shows good balance and feet. He can also be an effective receiver out of the backfield and possesses nice, soft hands. He lacks elite speed but that's not his game. This kid is a horse and tough to handle.
Recruiting: FSU and Alabama lead a host of others
3) Dexter Williams (Winter Garden West Orange)
No. 14 RB in nation
Of the top end running backs here Williams is the most versatile and dynamic. He tested off the charts at the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp. He’s a 4.4 kid with exceptional quickness and he can jump out of the gym. Had it not been for a high ankle injury sustained at his spring game in May he would have challenged for the SPARQ championship at The Opening. Williams is not just a combine kid. He has real football skills. He can run between the tackles and get to the second and third level in a hurry. When he does, Williams has the home run hitting speed to take it t the house. He’s dangerous on the perimeter and shows outstanding short area quickness in space. Williams can also catch the football, making him a big time weapon. Williams committed to Miami in the spring but has visited a handful of schools since. This one is far from over in terms of recruiting and where he will ultimately sign in February.
Committed to Miami
4) Mark Walton (Miami Booker T. Washington)
No. 23 RB in nation
Walton is yet another standout at this position committed to the Hurricanes. He was supposed to be a member of the Class of 2016 but recently moved up a year so he’s now a part of ’15. Walton is yet another outstanding player from BTW. This is a young man that does everything well. Walton has good size and will get bigger. He has speed and can run with power and be elusive. Walton can catch out of the backfield. I just like this kid’s style and demeanor. Can Al Golden really sign all of these running backs?
Committed to Miami
5) D’Anfernee McGriff (Tallahassee Leon)
No. 28 RB in nation
To me, this kid is one of the more intriguing offensive recruits from the Sunshine State. McGriff is a strong, powerful, fast and athletic prospect. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands and has the ability to run the ball with a rare combination of speed, power, balance and agility. At 6-foot-3 and 225-pounds McGriff has excellent feet and changes directions very well for a prospect with his size. He has a chance to be very special at the next level.
Committed to Auburn
6) Jordan Cronkrite (Miami Westminster Christian School)
No. 39 RB in nation
Cronkite is yet another Hurricane pledge. Some believe he has more upside on the other side of the ball as a safety. Yes, he’s versatile and lines up at a few different spots for his high school team. This kid has good size and is very well built. He’s not quite Scarlett but looks good off the hoof. Cronkrite has good speed but not elite speed. More importantly, Cronkrite shows a good burst when needed. He’s a north-south runner that prefers to run through a defender. He also has the cutting ability to make defenders miss in space.
Committed to Miami
7) Chandler Cox (Apopka)
No. 1 FB in nation
There are two very good fullback prospects in this state that I wanted to include and Cox leads the way here at the position. In fact, he’s the top rated recruit in the country at this position. Honestly, Cox could end up at fullback, H-back or as a hybrid guy for Gus Malzahn at Auburn. I believe he has a great future ahead of him. Cox is a throwback that can do so many things. He can block and catch and be an effective runner. He has good size and strength and will only get bigger and stronger.
Committed to Auburn
7) Alex Anderson (Miramar)
No. 52 RB in nation
Anderson is another good back from south Florida that just runs hard. He has good size and runs with power. There is not much wasted motion, as he gets up field. I love what he does after contact. Anderson keeps his legs moving and driving forward. He’s an effective blocker picking up the blitz and will only get better in this important area of a running back’s game.
Committed to West Virginia
8) James Allen (Citra North Marion)
No. 61 RB in nation
They call Allen “Dynamite” for a reason. This kid can really scoot and is one of the more underrated players in the state. He has good size, speed and shows the ability to make some pretty electric plays. Allen can do it between the tackles or in space. He possesses excellent vision and balance, which are two key characteristics I look for in backs. I also love his burst and acceleration. Bobby Petrino got a really good one here.
Committed to Louisville
9) T.J. Simmons (Lakeland Christian)
No. 64 RB in nation
Simmons tore up his knee as a sophomore and looked better than expected last season as a junior. This year he should really put together a monster season. First off that list would be his speed. This is a home run hitter who can score from anywhere. Heck, I saw him house one from 80-yards on his first carry of the game against Tampa Berkeley Prep last fall. This kid is fast. I like his ability to be a different running back on every play. This means on one run he shows power and can run through tacklers. Simmons has good pad level and a pretty low center of gravity.
Committed to UCLA
10) Karan Higdon (Sarasota Riverview)
No. 65 RB in nation
The big question for the Bulls is can they hang on to this one? He has fields some big offers from teams since his USF pledge from programs like Kentucky and Syracuse. Higdon is a nice inside runner with good but not great speed. I think I what I like best about Higdon is that he possesses very quick feet and balance. You think as a defender to have him bottled up and he has the quickness to out-maneuver you. He has a thick lower body, a long stride when he gets going and can run behind his pads. Higdon can also be very effective as a receiver in the pass game.
Committed to South Florida
11) Johnnie Hankins (Homestead South Dade)
No. 68 RB in nation
Hankins is another underrated running back from the state. This one is from south Florida and he helped led his team to the state championship last fall over Apopka. He’s a smooth and effortless runner who seems to slide of would be tacklers. Hankins does a nice job of getting yards after initial contact. He stays on his feet and shows surprising power.
Committed to Northern Colorado
12) Taj McGowan (Hallandale)
McGowan is one of a handful of high level D1 prospects on Hallandale. He’s a 190-pound back with a lot of versatility. He can pound it between the tackles on one play and split out wide in the slot on the next and get involved in the passing game. McGowan has good vision and shows the ability to see a small crease, make a quick cut and accelerate to make a big play. He does a little bit of everything and does it well.
Committed to UCF
13) Markeis Hallback (Moore Haven)
No. 85 RB in nation
Hallback is nicknamed Black Mamba. No he’s not quite as explosive as DeAnthony Thomas but he certainly shows some big play capability. Hallback has terrific feet, balance, vision and hips and shows outstanding short area quickness. He’s terrific in space and when it looks like he’s boxed in he can work his way out of a jam. Hallback possesses good speed and can run away from the defense. This kid is a terrific runner in traffic. He runs with outstanding instincts.
Recruiting: Duke, Iowa, N.C. State, Virginia, and Vanderbilt have offered.
14) Shi’Kim Coward (Niceville)
No. 96 RB in nation
There is no question that this kid would be rated much higher if healthy. Late last season he tore his ACL and has been busy rehabbing his knee this off-season. UAB has offered while Coward says he will make official visits to both Tennessee and Georgia Tech this fall. Teams just want to see how healthy he is and for him to run the ball this fall. When healthy this kid is terrific player. He’s not the biggest back in the world but he’s compact, fast, elusive, strong and versatile.
Recruiting: UAB, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, USF and others
15) Kal-El Williams (Pinellas Park)
No. 2 FB in nation
I know most of you are reading this and saying who? Don’t sleep on this recruit because he’s a fullback prospect headed to the Owls. Williams is a monster. He’s every bit 230-pounds and runs like a Mack truck. He can also block and catch and is pure old-school like Cox above. And he’s athletic enough to play the ‘Mike’ position for the Patriots defense. I was very impressed in watching him play twice last season.
Committed to FAU