In two of the last four NIKE Camps at the University of Miami, it was a running back that stole the thunder of the entire camp.
Four years ago, Gainesville's Clinton Portis arrived with little fanfare, and left as one of the top three prospects on the field that day -- along with Phillip Buchanon and Andre Johnson.
Last year it was running back Devin Hester that was named the camp's MVP after a stellar performance.
The top running back prospect at this year's camp goes to Apopka's Alan Abrams in my opinion. At 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, Abrams tested well by running a 4.28 in the shuttle. In addition, he went through drills very smoothly, showing off good pass catching ability as well as breakaway speed. Of all the running backs at the camp, I think his game translates the best to the college level, and UM will more than likely be watching him when the spring evaluation period begins on May 1.
Tampa Hillsborough's Ronnie McCullough worked out with the running backs, but I think his game translates better as a linebacker and that's where I think most of his upside is.
At 6-feet and 208 pounds, he's a very physical runner with pretty good speed and a good sense of vision. He ran a 4.63 in the shuttle and dominated drills -- especially the ones where half the running backs were playing linebacker in pass coverage. A full qualifier inside the classroom, McCullough is a bigger version of linebackers Quintero Frierson and Ali Highsmith, and he's also a step quicker than those two. As a linebacker prospect, McCullough is probably a Top 20 overall kid in Florida.
A sleeper that is quickly emerging across the state is Delray Beach American Heritage's Ron Williams.
With the best physical build of any running back to come to the NIKE Camp at Miami in the last three years, Williams tested very well.
He checked in at 6-feet and 195 pounds and that includes almost zero body fat. Williams showed off tremendous lateral quickness by running a 4.25 shuttle -- the best time among all the running backs.
Williams, who rushed for 1,448 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior in addition to catching 448 yards worth of passes, was outstanding during drills. His performance at the camp caused his stock to go way up, as he solidified himself as a definite Division 1 prospect and a kid that I think UM will watch this spring. I know I will.
McCullough wasn't the only Tampa running back to show up. Jesuit's Aaron Fryer and Jefferson's Reshaun Grant also made strong showings.
At 5-foot-10 and 202 pounds, Fryer ran a 4.70 shuttle time and looked pretty good running through all the drills. A track standout that's already a full academic qualifier, Fryer is definitely a mid level Division 1 prospect right now.
Grant checked in at 6-feet and 183 pounds and showed off excellent quickness by running a 4.40 in the shuttle. Grant, who shares time with teammate Josh Balloon at Jefferson, also solidified himself as a legitimate Division 1 running back prospect at the camp on Sunday.
From an overall standpoint, this was probably the best NIKE Camp ever at UM at the running back position.
Next up - wide receivers.
NIKE Camp - Running Backs
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