Checking Back on Class of 2013

Looking back at the top-10 in-state players in the 2013 class, as ranked by Here's Nos. 6-10.

6) Justin Manning, Texas A&M

The Aggies brought in a bevy of defensive linemen in the 2013 class, and while Justin Manning was among the best, he also figured to have further to go than some of the other players. Sure enough, the cat-quick 6-foot-1, 290-pounder doesn't have a spot on the two-deep just yet, behind true freshmen Isaiah Golden and Hardreck Walker. Manning looks to be headed toward a redshirt at this time, though he still has plenty of promise. Manning doesn't have the size and the frame that Golden and Walker do, so he'll have to continue to polish up on his technique, learning to harness his God-given quickness to make plays in the backfield.

7) Mike Mitchell, Ohio State

Mitchell tore through Ohio State camp early, earning a spot on the Buckeye two-deep at middle linebacker. That result was not a shock — Mitchell entered as one of the more physically gifted linebackers you'll find. Measuring 6-3 222 and running a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash (don't forget, he ran an electronic 4.39 at The Opening), Mitchell fit what coach Urban Meyer is looking for in his athletes: fast and dynamic. According to, Mitchell hit the freshman "wall" near the end of camp, and slid back down off the chart, where it now looks like he'll redshirt. Still, expect the Plano Prestonwood Christian product to be a major factor moving forward.

8) Keith Ford, Oklahoma

A bull of a runner with surprising speed and agility, Ford entered a Sooner backfield that was packed with experienced depth. Oklahoma returned its three-headed running back rotation of Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch, with Trey Millard at fullback, and Ford has done a nice job nestling in behind those players. He has 11 carries for 66 yards so far this season, including a 23-yard run and a touchdown. With all four of the above players playing out their senior seasons this year, Ford has tons of playing time staring him in the face as a sophomore. Barring any surprises, he could be the team's top ball-carrier next season.

9) Isaiah Golden, Texas A&M

As a recruit, Golden stood out because of his power and short-area quickness. And it didn't take him long to make an impact. The 6-2, 310-pounder is listed as the No. 2 nose tackle behind senior Kirby Ennis, meaning he's a big part of the rotation and sits in a great spot to start after Ennis leaves following this season. Golden has played in four games this season, making 11 tackles, including two for loss. The Carthage product is one of several true freshmen defensive linemen on the two-deep, including Walker and defensive ends Jay Arnold and Daeshon Hall, and Golden leads all those players in stops and tackles in the backfield.

10) Tyrone Swoopes, Texas

With Swoopes coming into a program with an established No. 1 quarterback in David Ash, and a No. 2 quarterback who has won multiple Big 12 games, the general thought line is that Swoopes likely wouldn't see the field at quarterback except if he was running his own specific package. And, while Swoopes hasn't played yet, that still appears to be the case. Swoopes was slowed by a hamstring injury in camp, but the talented runner could still get some touches in upcoming games, if he proves healthy and capable of handling the workload. Depending on the injury status of Texas's quarterbacks, we might have awhile before we get to judge Swoopes as a full-time quarterback, but at least early on, he's where he should be.

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