SMU Football Big Board: 2017 Running Backs

Billy breaks down SMU's 2017 running back picture in the first of his Big Board series this offseason.

SMU is in the hunt for plenty of running backs in Texas and there's a legitimate need for another big back in this class, especially if Jordan Carmouche doesn't adjust as well as expected. SMU has built depth quickly at the position with Xavier Jones, Braeden West and Aphonso Thomas to pair with the arrival of Carmouche. That being said, SMU hasn't found that big back yet that it's aggressively pursuing. For now, here's my breakdown and wish list for SMU at the running back position.

Offered RBs:

1. Cypress Ridge RB Trelon Smith

Scout's No. 7 running back in Texas has offers from Cincinnati, Duke and Illinois to compete with SMU among others for his signature. Smith has gotten two visits from SMU this spring and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock and running backs coach Claude Mathis have clearly made him a priority. Smith is the real deal and SMU is extremely high on him. If Smith were to pledge to SMU, he'd be a huge land and likely the only back of his kind the staff would take. He's shifty and has big-play ability. With SMU being the first to offer him, they're in a great spot. Although a bigger running back is a bigger need, it's tough to not call a back of Smith's caliber to be a must-have for the staff.

2. Cypress Woods RB C.J. Jones

Right behind Smith is C.J. Jones on the board and for good reason. Another back that SMU got in early on, Jones has been impressed with the staff and where the program is headed under Morris. Jones is slightly smaller than Smith and both are more out of the West/Xavier Jones mold than a Carmouche. Morris' offense with either Jones or Smith running behind the offensive line later on would be solid. Smith and C.J. are both major priorities and for good reason.

3. Arp RB Kayce Medlock

The running back that is publicly high on SMU is Medlock, who talked about potentially committing to SMU before cooling on that a little bit. The staff wants to see a bit more out of Medlock, who is about 5-7, 5-8 when I saw him in-person. That doesn't mean he's not talented. Medlock will carry the load for Arp this year and as SMU will be watching, so will other schools. Medlock would be a solid land for SMU, but he'll have to show even more production and talent this year to jump up the board.

Longshot RBs:

1. Wylie East RB Eno Benjamin

Benjamin was high on SMU before committing to Iowa, which was his leader for much of his recruitment. Barring anything crazy, Benjamin will end up at Iowa. There's a lot of pressure on him from some of SMU's 2016 class and others in 2017 to stay at SMU. He's tight with the staff and visits a lot. Don't think it would happen, but this is a kid they'll recruit until the end.

2. Cedar Hill RB Kaegun Williams

Another talented, local player that has two teammates in SMU's 2016 class, Michael Clark and Eric Sutton. Williams was one of the first running backs for SMU to offer in 2017 and has a long relationship with Mathis. Williams has some major offers though and the 4-star back is likely headed to a major school. That being said, as SMU continues to recruit kids until the end like an Audie Omotosho, you never know when spots fill up. Williams is a versatile back that would be an absolute steal, but is a long shot.

Other RBs without offers to watch:

1. North Mesquite RB Dreshawn Minnieweather

SMU has been by to watch the bigger back Minnieweather for much of the last year. He's a kid that has visited a few times and at just about 6-feet, he's a bigger back that could fit well as a late add to the class if the staff thought he could fill that need for a bigger back. SMU will continue to monitor him and watch him to see what he does this year without a big piece of the offensive line from last year in Jean Delance.

2. San Angelo Central RB Daven Manning

Another bigger back that SMU has been by to watch is Daven Manning, who also checks in right around 6-feet. SMU has been all over Central in San Angelo and will watch him plenty of times this year. Running behind Braxton Webb and playing with 2018 SMU offer Adam West, that should give Manning plenty of exposure. An offer would come late and would be predicated on him showing more on film, but Manning certainly has the staff's attention.


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