Florida running back talks Vandy offer

Vanderbilt has positioned themselves in the mix for fast-rising Markeis Hallback, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back who hails from the Florida Everglades area of Moore Haven. Hallback says he's looking hard at high academic schools like Duke and Northwestern and Vanderbilt is a logical suitor for his services.

"It was actually about two and a half weeks ago when I was on the phone with Vanderbilt," Hallback told VandyMania.com. "A coach from another school was there with me so I didn't get to talk with them very long. They said when they watched my highlight film they saw the kind of speed and explosiveness they're looking for at running back and wanted to offer me.

"I've had several offers come in the past few weeks. The most recent one was from N.C. State so I haven't really had a chance to pay attention to it all. I'm going to have to sit down and sort out a top five which I'll have by July. Vanderbilt's a great offer. It's my first SEC offer and I know about their academics. I want to find out more about them."

Moore Haven is a junior and senior high school on the shore of Lake Okeechobee. This allowed Hallbeck to start on varsity for Terriers football in his eighth grade year. It's a smaller 2A school and Hallback performs double duty at running back and outside linebacker.

"We lost a lot of seniors so I'm not sure how we'll do next year," he said. "My goal is to break all of the school's rushing records, but I think I already did that as a sophomore. I'm not really a big stat guy or keep up with my accolades, I just go out there and play and try to get us wins."

Hallback named Duke as an early favorite but with new offers coming says he wants to take them all in and reevaluate things by mid-summer. In addition to Duke and Vanderbilt, Hallback holds offers from Charlotte, FIU, Georgia State, Iowa, N.C. State, Northwestern, South Alabama, and Virginia.

"This summer I plan on visiting the colleges that are closer to me," he explained. "If the schools that are further away from me make my top five then I'll schedule an official visit with them for the fall. I'm looking mostly at the academics. If football isn't an option for me after college then I want to have something solid to fall back on."

It's been quite awhile since Moore haven had a D-1 recruited athlete for football. Rod Huggins, from the class of 2006 was the last. He went on to play defensive back at Florida Atlantic. Plenty of schools have discovered Hallback, however, and he'll likely have more to chose from in the coming months.

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