Focus 2010: Running Backs

If Austin White is 1A, Nick Hill is 1B. In any other season Hill might be the number one back on the MSU list, and for good reason. The Chelsea star has an offer from Stanford in the bag and interest from the Spartans, Notre Dame and numerous other programs.

Michigan State will likely take only one running back for the class of 2010, and it all really starts and ends with Austin White.

Legacy recruit, star junior and consensus All-State material, White combines speed, agility and toughness into a growing 5-foot-11, 185 pound body.

With over 3,200 yards rushing on the ground over the past two years, White is already a proven producer on the field in his sophomore and junior seasons. The elusive back has deceptive speed, especially when hitting a corner or finding a seam as he puts his wheels into third gear.

A fixture at MSU on fall game days and recent junior days, White was last spotted over the weekend at the Breslin Center, chatting with head coach Mark Dantonio. Dan Enos also recruits White, who recently was told by Enos that MSU wants one running back next year — Austin.

White's recruitment has gone national lately, with Oregon stepping into the mix. All of the Midwest powers are or will be knocking on White's door, but his ties with MSU and relationship with the staff, not to mention an older brother on scholarship, might be enough to keep a big time recruit home.

If White is 1A, Nick Hill is 1B. In any other season Hill might be the number one back on the MSU list, and for good reason.

The Chelsea star has an offer from Stanford in the bag and interest from the Spartans, Notre Dame and numerous other programs.

A bit smaller than White at 5-foot-8, 185 pounds, Hill racks up yards just as well — 1,700 on the ground as a sophomore, 3,700 all-purpose yards as a junior. If White falls through, Hill might be tough to pry away from the Fighting Irish, who have marked Hill as a premier back from the start.

In the end, as in most positions, the MSU staff would be happy to land either of the state's top prospects. But if not, Indiana has a stud that might fit in well at East Lansing.

In three seasons, Roderick Smith has amassed 5,285 rushing yards, a stunning number. And at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds it's no wonder he's plowed his way into the record books.

While elite programs like Ohio State, who Smith reports favoring, seem ready to pounce and make the young man a long shot, Smith would fit MSU's power running scheme like a glove, and if the chips fall a certain way, he might just have an opportunity to play himself into the long lineage of star running backs at Michigan State.


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