2013 RB Board

With a stacked backfield, will the LSU staff press to pick up a running back in the 2013 class?

With six running backs on scholarship as LSU enters spring practice, it's safe to say the Tigers don't have many issues with depth in the backfield.

Given that all six backs are underclassmen, and five of the running backs saw action in 2011, it becomes tough to find a position on the LSU roster with more depth built for the future.

Kenny Hilliard burst onto the scene with a breakout freshman year

Michael Ford, Spencer Ware and Alfred Blue will be juniors next fall, with Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magee entering their sophomore seasons. Jeremy Hill, who was initially set to sign with LSU in 2011, will get his first crack at the college game after enrolling in January.

What does the stacked backfield mean for the Tigers' recruiting efforts at the position in the class of 2013?

There's a good chance the staff passes on adding a running back in the class, especially given St. Augustine's Leonard Fournette - one of the nation's top 2014 prospects - will be the central focus next year. Fournette picked up an offer from LSU coach Les Miles as a freshman.

But if the Tigers decide to add a running back in 2013, here are some names to keep an eye on:

  • After making its' presence felt at DeSoto High in suburban Dallas by signing offensive lineman Evan Washington in 2010 and cornerback Jalen Mills in February, the LSU staff is back at one of the Lone Star State's top programs with another scholarship offer - this time for Dontre Wilson.

    At 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds, Wilson is considered one of the top running backs in the country, but those close to the situation peg Wilson - who has called Texas his top team - as a heavy lean to the Longhorns, a school that DeSoto has been kind to in recent years.

    Wilson, who has yet to travel to Baton Rouge, most recently took in a visit to Oklahoma State, his second trip to Stillwater, and has a flight to Oregon booked for spring break.

  • Staying in Texas, the Tigers have offers out to a pair of Katy products: Adam Taylor (6-2, 200) and Jamel James (5-11, 218).

    Adam Taylor is one of five 2013 running backs with an LSU offer

    Taylor had more than 1,500 yards in 2010 with six touchdowns, which helped him land early offers from the likes of LSU, Arkansas and Baylor.

    But his junior campaign was cut short by a knee injury in the first game of the season, which Taylor finished with 106 yards on 20 carries.

    With no decision date set, Taylor said he remains open with his recruitment process.

    LSU, which offered during camp last July, continues to recruit Taylor despite his season-ending injury. Efforts are being led by special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey.

    However, an early offer from the Razorbacks was enough for James, who committed to Arkansas after camping in Fayetteville on July 16.

  • The only other running backs with LSU offers - Greg Bryant (5-11, 200) and Ryan Green (5-10, 195) - hail from Florida.

    Bryant, a Delray Beach native, has more than 20 scholarship offers and is being recruited as the No. 1 running back by nearly all of those schools.

    Some feel Bryant, a physical runner who could be the workhorse back for a program, is the best running back in the country, an argument that gained steam after Bryant helped carry American Heritage-Delray to a 3A state championship last season.

    Greg Bryant is one of Florida's top prospects

    Though Bryant has yet to name a leader, those close to his recruitment feel USC holds an early lead on the field.

    Green, a St. Petersburg native, also has more than 20 scholarship offers - the most recent overtures coming last Thursday from LSU and USC.

    Despite already holding an offer, expect Green to visit Baton Rouge for camp this summer, where he could join Taylor as the back the staff focuses on the most headed into the group's senior campaigns.

  • What prospects without LSU offers are worth keeping an eye on?

    Closer to home, here are three names to watch headed into spring ball: Denham Springs' Kaleb Blanchard (6-1, 200), Walker's Carlton Perkins (6-0, 188) and St. Paul's (Mobile) Jordan Huff (5-10, 190).

    Blanchard, whose lone offer is from Arkansas, finished his sophomore season with 1,799 yards and 21 touchdowns on 190 carries, which earned him honorable mention Class 5A All-State honors.

    But his junior campaign was cut short after five games when Blanchard went down with a season-ending shoulder injury.

    "In 4 1/2 games, (Blanchard) had over 400 yards and six touchdowns," Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles told Scout.com's Mike Coppage. "He was effective when he was there, but it's unfortunate that he didn't play more.

    "He is a guy that we count on to carry the football for us, to help out on special teams as the return guy and in the back end at nickel in the secondary."

    Huff visited LSU in February and has the Tigers atop his wish list

    Another two-way player to watch is Perkins, who finished second to only Carencro's Alex Johnson among the top rushers in the state for the 2011 season (Perkins rushed for 1,807 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior).

    Former LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper praised Perkins for his abilities at safety, but LSU coach Les Miles gave kudos to Perkins for his efforts with the ball in his hands.

    If the Tigers decide to stack up on defensive backs from outside of Louisiana, Perkins could be evaluated in summer camp as a running back.

    Huff, who visited Baton Rouge for LSU Junior Day in February, said the Tigers are one of the top teams on his wishlist.

    Like Blanchard, Huff's junior season was cut short after he suffered a severe knee injury against Gulf Shores in the eighth week of the season.

    "I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus," Huff told Scout.com's Stephen Atkinson. "They said that I'd be 100 percent by January and running track in the spring."

    At the time of the injury, Huff had 962 yards and 15 touchdowns and more than 4,000 career rushing yards. He is currently hearing from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska and Oregon.


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