Hanford High School
High School Position: Running Back
College Position: Running Back
Main Strengths: Speed, Acceleration, Toughness, Vision
Main Weaknesses: Size, Footwork, Blocking
If there is a “sleeper” player in this 2007 Michigan class, it will likely be Avery Horn. The California back has some of the best speed in the state and will bring that game breaking trait to a team that hasn’t seen much of it out of the backfield in recent years. Athleticism is a big part of Horn’s game, but he is also a tough runner for a back his size. He certainly doesn’t shy away from contact and will use his deceptive power on opponents. He gets more yards after contact than you might expect. He also had some bone crushing hits on defense, but he won’t likely see action there at the next level.
Horn has a very nice size to strength ratio, very good acceleration, and gets to the hole quickly. He also plays with excellent technique. He holds the ball properly, shows solid vision and uses his blocks well. He should fit nicely into Michigan’s zone blocking plays. He is pretty solid in the open field, but that is an area that he could improve. He has a sprinter's stride and sometimes has problems gearing down to make defenders miss. Horn is raw as a receiver since he didn’t get much experience in that capacity in high school. However, if he can master the techniques of this area he could be a weapon as a receiver. Horn is a tough blocker but lack of size may be an issue at the next level.
After seeing Horn play, I’m a bit surprised he isn’t ranked higher on recruiting boards. As a running back, he has all the tools to be a successful player. I certainly like Horn as a contributing back in future years and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he sneaks in a starting role later in his career. He brings the athleticism Michigan fans have longed for at the position. I think he is comparable to Carlos Brown but with a little more pop and maybe a tad less agility. Horn is an ideal back for the zone blocking scheme… the type of back that makes one cut and gets up the field in a hurry. Horn seems like an ideal return man as well, and I would expect him to get a look in this role early in his career.