Pre-Spring: RB's to Watch

Here is an early look at some of the running backs to watch in the state of Florida next season. Miami will be looking to take two so this will certainly be a position of interest.

CHARLIE JONES, 5-10, 195, Homestead (South Dade) An excellent athlete that has been tearing up opposing Dade County defenses for the past two seasons, Jones was the 2nd leading rusher in the county as a junior. He'll be one of the school's top prospects in a decade. A talented back with a slasher's style, Jones is a home run threat on almost every play.

LAMAR LEWIS, 5-8, 185, Jacksonville (Trinity Christian) One of the fastest players in the entire state of Florida, Lewis is coming off an excellent season in his first year as a full-time starter. He went for over 1,000 yards and was at his best in big games. He ran wild in the state championship game to cap off a strong season. A dangerous open field runner, Lewis is very explosive.

LEON PENNINGTON, 6-1, 215, Hallandale A transfer from Dillard High School last summer after playing defensive back for the Panthers, Pennington had a huge season in his first year on offense. He ran for over 1,700 yards and was named Broward's small-school Offensive Player of the Year (Tyrone Moss won for large schools). He's built like he's ready for the NFL and will look to repeat that performance this season.

DAMIAN SIMS, 5-9, 165, Boca Raton (Pope John Paul III) A transfer from North Broward Prep prior to his junior season, Sims ran wild last fall. He had over 1,400 yards and scored close to 25 touchdowns. Another slashing style runner, Sims has a natural ability to find the open holes and turn off a bunch of long runs. Although built much differently, he reminds many of former PJP III standout Rich Alexis (Washington) because of his production.

CHUB SMALL, 5-9, 200, Auburndale A very talented running back prospect, Small is built like a prototype. He's got a rock solid frame and has excellent speed and quickness. He transferred to Lakeland last season but is now back to Auburndale and is primed to have a big season. He'll be the school's most heavily recruited player since Chauncey Davis.

TYEASE THOMPSON, 5-11, 185, Lakeland (George Jenkins) One of two big-time running back prospects in Polk County this season, Thompson began his prep career at Fort Meade before transferring to George Jenkins, where he ran for over 1,200 yards as a junior. A terrific athlete, Thompson has a nice blend of size, quickness, and instincts.

BOBBY WASHINGTON, 6-0, 200, Miami (Killian) A superb running back prospect, Washington appears to have the total package. He ran for over 1,500 yards as a junior last season and was running behind a pretty average offensive line. Bryan Pata said he's clearly the best running back he's ever played against. I saw Washington run flat over two heavily recruited linebackers last year. He has the ability to run through you or around you and make it look easy in the meantime. Some kids have that rare ability and he's one of them. His talent level is in the same league as guys like Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, and Tyrone Moss at this age.

VINCE WILSON, 5-9, 180, Daytona Beach (Mainland) A dangerous back with tremendous explosiveness, Wilson ran for almost 1,000 yards while sharing time in a talented Mainland backfield. He might be a better return specialist, where he had several long returns for touchdowns. I saw him rip off an 88-yard run as a junior and he made the entire defense look like they were running in quicksand. He'll be one of the school's top prospects in the last several years.

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