Spring Eval: Running backs

Spring Eval Period is when coaches head out to evaluate and find top talent. Here at HornsDigest.com and Scout.com, we evaluate those same players. So who are the top players in the state of Texas? Here are the top five running backs.

My Top Five Running Backs In Texas

1) Ronald Jones, 6-0 185, McKinney North — Few running backs were more productive than Jones this past year, with the slender back rushing for 2,409 yards and 39 touchdowns on 244 carries. In doing so, he showed great feet, truly high level speed and acceleration and the ability to break nice plays into touchdowns. Jones's running style reminds some of former Longhorn Jamaal Charles, and it isn't hard to see that comparison on tape. Jones might not have Charles's raw speed, but he isn't *that* far off. Oklahoma State is getting a really good one, here.

2) Chris Warren, 6-2 225, Rockwall — Warren rushed for 747 yards and 11 touchdowns in a season shortened by an ACL tear. But he's certainly shown enough over the past two seasons to deserve this ranking, and potentially a higher one. Warren has the size of a power back and the breakaway speed of a player 20 pounds lighter. Warren has been clocked at 4.5-flat in the 40-yard dash, has run a 10.73 100-meter dash and long-jumped over 22 feet. He's an athletic freak, and that's before accounting for the fact that he has some honest-to-gosh running back skills as well.

3) Sotonye Jamabo, 6-2.5 205, Plano West — Jamabo might be the most interesting player in the in-state class. At nearly 6-3, and with a slender build, there's some question how much weight Jamabo will add, and without that added weight, how well he'll hold up at the next level. But that's nit-picking, as Jamabo has rushed for more than 2,700 yards and 34 touchdowns over the last two years, showing both the ability to run over people and run away from them in the open field. If it translates to the next level, he could be a player who could step in and have an immediate impact.

4) Jay Bradford, 5-10 190, Splendora — I have Bradford higher than a lot of people, in part because I was on-hand when Bradford had a fantastic performance at Texas camp, showcasing his elite speed — he's run sub-10.5 seconds in the past, and was clocked at 4.32 at Texas camp — burst and the soft hands to be a major threat out of the backfield. The Texas A&M commitment probably isn't the kind of back who will get 200-250 carries a season in college, but as a third-down and change of pace back, there are few deadlier prospects. Another indication of Bradford's explosiveness is the recent 24-1.5 long jump he put up, or you could just flip on last season's film, where he ran for 1,402 yards and 10 scores.

5) Jordan Stevenson, 5-9 185, Dallas South Oak Cliff — It was a tight race for the No. 5 spot, because I have JaMycal Hasty evaluated right there with Stevenson, and Rodney Anderson not too far behind. Anderson seems to be a B+ back in every category … he's not really elite at anything, but he's very good at everything. Hasty is a lot like Stevenson, and he may be more fluid than the Texas commitment, though Stevenson runs with just as much, if not more, power, and Stevenson's times — he ran 4.37 electronic at last year's NFTC — are faster. Stevenson fell just six yards shy of the 2,000-yard mark a year ago, and he found the end zone 18 times.



Scout.com's Top Five In-State Running Backs

1) Jamabo **** (No. 2 nationally)

2) Warren **** (No. 9)

3) Jones **** (No. 12) — Oklahoma State

4) Stevenson **** (No. 16) — Texas

5) Rodney Anderson, 6-1 205, Katy **** (No. 20)


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