Ohio High Top 100 Countdown: No. 4

As we continue on with the Ohio High Top 100 countdown, we come to the second of two Ohio State commitments -- this one being running back Brandon Saine of Piqua. The speedy Saine is the top back in Ohio this year and one of the top ten running back prospects in the Midwest.

EDITOR'S NOTE – Today we continue our 14-part series where we unveil the top 101 football prospects in Ohio's Class of 2007. These rankings were assembled by Bucknuts and Ohio High recruiting editor Duane Long. They were originally published in the May 2006 edition of Ohio High magazine. Here is the 11th installment with a look at the player ranked fourth.

4. ***** Brandon Saine
6-1 205 TB Piqua

After seeing Brandon Saine, on film I am having a hard time believing I had only heard about him as a sprinter until last fall. I did not even know that he played football. Last year Akron Garfield's Chris Wells was soaking up the entire spotlight but he was not the only superstar running back in Ohio last year. Saine is the real deal.

Several opposing coaches told me about Saine but I assumed he was just a very fast kid that Piqua coach Bill Nees was putting in positions to use his speed in the open field. I was wrong.

This kid is legit 6-1, 200 pounds, is well put together and he has excellent vision. Saine is fast but make no mistake - this is no speed back. He is an I-formation tailback that runs between the tackles as well as he runs wide. He makes tacklers miss by running over them and running away from them. Saine is explosive and by the time he gets to the line of scrimmage he is at top speed.

There are a couple of runs on the tape that demonstrate he has another level of speed. On a couple of runs he is shutting it down but is still pulling away from potential tacklers. On one play in particular he is covering a kickoff and the runner breaks away. Saine makes up so much ground to make the tackle that it looks like something from a Hollywood movie and he did it with no angle. He simply just runs him down.

As a junior, Saine rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He also had 300 receiving yards in 2005.

Saine will be defending his Division I 100-meter and 400-meter state titles this spring.

Being fully qualified academically is the topper on this package. Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern were among the schools to offer Saine early in the process.

Update: Saine ended the suspense on May 3 when he picked Ohio State over Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska and others.

"I wanted to get this (his college choice) over with," Saine said. "I talked it over with my parents (Anthony Saine and Wendi Croft). I knew this (Ohio State) was what I wanted to do. And it takes the pressure off for track as well. I won't have any more questions about where

Days after verbaling, Saine reportedly ran a 10.38-second 100-meter dash. That is believed to be the fastest 100 time in competition in Ohio high school track history.

Bucknuts subscribers can click on the link below for Saine's Scout.com bio page in the database. It contains several links to video of Saine in action:


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