Sanford Scouting Reports

In Scott's latest Sanford Scouting Reports, he looks at three 2016 running backs SMU is targeting: D'Vaughn Pennamon, Trayveon Williams and Brandon Stephens.

D’Vaughn Pennamon

2016 RB, Manvel HS (Manvel, Texas)

Speed and Agility: Pennamon does a nice job of taking the quarterback’s handoff and quickly hitting the line of scrimmage. With his quick feet, Pennamon does a nice job of cutting during his runs, either to the inside or the outside, and has the speed to make defenders miss. Once in the open field, defenses have a hard time catching up to him, or even just getting a hand on him.

Tenacity: Pennamon uses his strong lower body to power through the line of scrimmage, and if need be, bulldoze over a defensive back or linebacker. If asked to, Pennamon will throw a block like that’s what he’s not getting paid to do. Defenses can’t tackle Pennamon with just a hand or arm because his feet are always churning.

Athleticism: Not only can Pennamon run over or around defense, he can also beat them with his route-running skills and soft hands. The 5-foot-11 junior back did a great job of contributing on passes out of the backfield in the flat, and even catching passes down field. Overall, Pennamon has great balance whether he’s running the ball up the middle, on the outside, or even making leaping catches.

Offers: SMU, Arkansas, Louisville, Washington State, Colorado and Colorado State.
HT: 5-11
WT: 191 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds (unofficial)

D’Vaughn Pennamon Highlights

Trayveon Williams

2016 RB, C.E. King HS (Houston, Texas)

Speed and Agility: Williams has legitimate sub-4.5 speed. Once he gets into the open field, there’s no catching up to the 179-pound speedster. Williams doesn’t exactly fool you with his agility, and won’t juke anyone out, but his speed alone is what makes him such a dangerous back.

Tenacity: Williams is another running back that is tough for any defense to bring down, especially considering his extremely low center of gravity. Williams’ strong legs allow him to shake off most attempts at arm tackles, and the junior does a nice job of using his hands to initiate a push off against his defenders. Williams does a nice job of keeping his feet moving and keeping his eyes in the end zone.

Athleticism: At just 5-foot-9, Williams isn’t an ideal running back to have running routes down field, and that’s why he sticks mostly to catching screen passes or regular passes in the flat. Williams also doesn’t have the softest hands, but he gets the job done, and once he gets ahold of the ball, it sure is hard to bring him down. Not only does he have great vision, but Williams shows great balance to go along with his outstanding speed.

Offers: SMU, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State Tulsa, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas Southern.
HT: 5-9
WT: 179 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds (unofficial)
2014 Stats: 2,391 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns

Trayveon Williams Highlights

Brandon Stephens

2016 RB, Plano East HS (Plano, Texas)

Speed and Agility: Stephens has good speed, but shows even better patience while waiting for the play to develop. Once he picks his spot, he hits it with a full head of steam and usually only needs one move to break off a big gain. Stephens’ vision allows him to make cut backs that he has the ability to break into touchdowns. With a little more added size, Stephens could take his game to the next level. His combination of speed, vision and agility make for a very natural runner.

Tenacity: Despite being on the skinnier side, Stephens still shows a mean-streak that comes in handy. With a few added pounds, Stephens will have the ability to run over his defenders instead of having to run around them.

Athleticism: Stephens, who also runs the wildcat for Plano, does a nice job of staying on his feet while running through traffic, but overall, runs very balanced. He uses his combination of good vision and quick feet to cut back as far as he needs to go to find an opening. You do not see Stephens catching the ball out of the backfield very often, but has his size with his hands, there’s no question he has the ability to.

Offers: SMU, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Tulsa, Washington and Wisconsin.
HT: 6-1
WT: 200-pounds

Brandon Stephens Highlights

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