Final West Top Ten RBs

UCLA commit Nathan Starks is in the top five for the West's top backs and another UCLA target is in the top ten...

West: Final Top Ten Running Backs
Location: Oakley, Calif.
High School: Freedom
Size: 6-1/205
Previous Ranking: 1
Recruiting: Committed to Oklahoma at the U.S. Army Bowl over California, UCLA and Wisconsin
The Skinny: Mixon is an every down back who can do everything well. He looks bigger than his listed 6-1, 210 pound frame and runs with a nice blend of balance, power and speed. He has a great feel for the position and has that innate ability to sense where a defensive player is coming and either make a quick cut to elude him or take a glancing blow. Mixon never seems to get hit square up, which given his size, is surprising but a testament to his mature running style. Mixon was named the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Location: Imperial, Calif.
High School: Imperial
Size: 5-11/220
Previous Ranking: 2
Recruiting: Committed to Oregon early and hasn't looked back.
The Skinny: Freeman is the top power back in the west and is an absolute load to bring down. At 5-11, 220 pounds, he's not just big and powerful but has good top end speed as well. He was the RB MVP at the SoCal NIKE Camp, looked very good at The Opening and has a significant upside to him. No back improved their stock more than Freeman and he answered every question about the level of competition he plays against by dominating at multiple national type events as well as the U.S. Army Bowl. With his size and power, it won't be a surprise if Freeman plays early in his college career.
Location: Highlands Ranch, Colo.
High School: Valor Christian
Size: 6-0/190
Previous Ranking: 3
Recruiting: Committed to Stanford very early, where his father played before a long NFL career.
The Skinny: McCaffrey is a spectacular athlete and could play in the backfield or in the slot in college. He's arguably the most dynamic athlete in this group with the ability to make you miss in the open field and the electric speed to score from anywhere. He shows great vision in finding the crease in a defense, the speed to get in to the secondary and the balance to stay on his feet and absorb initial contact.  Was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Colorado as a senior.
Location: Englewood, Colo.
High School: Cherry Creek
Size: 6-0/190
Previous Ranking: 3 (at safety)
Recruiting: Chose UCLA over Oklahoma and Florida State
The Skinny: Starks first burst onto the scene as a sophomore when he was a backup to Gatorade Player of the Year to Shaq Powell at running back, but starred at safety while at Bishop Gorman.  He played his senior season in Colorado, and despite playing only half the season, had an impressive year.  He then ended the year with a great showing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Location: Palmdale, Calif.
High School: Palmdale
Size: 5-10, 200
Previous Ranking: 5
Recruiting: Richard has stayed solid to Arizona State despite several schools trying to get in on him late.
The Skinny: Richard has a nice blend of strength, toughness and quickness. He may be short but he's not small and runs with a lot of power. He's very strong in his lower body, has a nice burst and has enough speed to run away from people. He's more quick than fast right now but does have good top end speed and shows great hands out of the backfield as well.  Richard had a 2,000-yard season as a senior and was a Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

The Next Five:
6. Nick Wilson, Fresno (Calif.)- Committed to Arizona
7. Rashaad Penny, Norwalk (Calif.)
8. Tre Watson, Corona (Calif.) Centennial- Committed to California
9. Kalen Ballage, Falcon (Colo.)- Committed to Arizona State
10. Squally Canada, Milpitas (Calif.)- Committed to Washington State

Location: Mission Viejo, Calif.
High School: Mission Viejo
Size: 6-2/235
Recruiting: Committed to Stanford in May
The Skinny: A two-way prospect, offensively Downs looks like an optimal power-back. With good speed, and good size, he's a load to handle up the middle and does a good job of keeping his legs going and gaining yards after contact.  Originally we had him as an outside linebacker, but his best position in college, at this stage at least, is likely as a power back, but Cal is bringing him in as an athlete.

The Next Four:
2. Devante Downs, Mountlake Terrace (Wash.)- Committed to California
3. Ula Tolutau, Salt Lake City (Utah) East- Committed to Wisconsin
4. Ryan Nall, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic- Committed to Oregon State
5. Limihai Hifo, Menifee (Calif.) Heritage- Committed to San Jose State

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins), National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) and Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) contributed to these rankings.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories