An in-state look ahead: 2007 RB's

As Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham announced the 21 players who make up the 2006 recruiting class for the Huskies, many recruitniks were already clamoring to find out about the in-state prospects for the 2007 recruiting season. Here is a preliminary look at some of the players from around the "Evergreen State" who will be seniors next year. Today it's running backs.

From the running back position there are a lot of players who can play multiple spots on any football team. The big-name next year is Kennedy's uber-talented Nate Williams.

Williams (6-1, 205) is a very good runner, posting 940 yards on the ground, 380 on returns and 122 receiving. He scored 10 touchdowns on the ground and three on special teams and on interceptions. Williams was named first-team All-Seamount League King Division at both running back and defensive back. As a sophomore in 2004 he racked up more than 1,600 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns. As a freshman in 2003 he eclipsed 100 yards rushing in three straight playoff games. He runs well, but has an upright-style that needs to change if he wants to be a running back at the next level. He doesn't have top-end speed, but he can get the corner and he shows good vision once he gets past the first level of tacklers.

Even though he's an excellent runner his future in college may end up being in the secondary. On one play during the state quarterfinals, Williams laid out 2006 USC-signee Taylor Mays. He reads routes well, has a good hip turn and breaks quickly on the ball. He also has an attitude. We'll see where he ends up, but he is an athlete that will make any team he ends up on very happy. He has attended several Husky home games over the past two seasons and he will probably receive offers from the entire Pac 10 as well as some other schools across the country.

RB Logwone Mitz (6-0, 225) from Redmond is an underrated player from the eastside of Lake Washington. He is a tough inside runner and he always seems to be leaning forward when he gets hit. He's also listed as a linebacker, but didn't play there much this past season. He weighs in at 220 pounds and at six feet tall is built to play fullback at the next level.

Lincoln's Roman Pula is a player that really burst on the scene last year for D.J. Dobbins' team. He rushed for 1,682 yards (8.49 average) and 18 touchdowns on offense and was a hard-hitting safety for the Abes. He runs hard inside, but is even better running stretch-plays using his quickness and deceptive speed to get to the outside and take it to the house. He's got a compact 5-11, 195-pound frame and his vision in the hole is excellent. Pula is hearing the most from Oregon, WSU and BYU and plans to attend a lot of camps including his team camp at WSU and the Nike combine at Oregon and maybe the one in Stanford too.

Also keep an eye on Southridge's Dylan Jones (6-1, 195), Mt. Si's Brandon Yakaboski (6-0, 190), Newport's Brandon Mezistrano (5-10,175) and Edmonds-Woodway's Josh Heard (6-1,225). Jones and Mezistrano have quick feet and good vision, while Heard is a north-south guy who can make you miss, but would rather run over and punish you. Yakaboski does it all and was very effective last year, running for 1556 yards on 200 carries as a junior. From the other side of the state, Ryan Campbell (5-9, 175) was the leading rusher in the GSL last year with 1300 yards and 25 touchdowns. He knows how to find the end zone.

And don't sleep on Rainier Beach RB Kevin Sampson, who showed glimpses of D1 ability for the Vikings in the playoffs last year. He's not the biggest player, but has great burst and natural instinct when finding running lanes. He could be a real catalyst and compliment to QB prospect Jermain Delgardo.

For the class of 2008, Kentwood's Demetrius Bronson and Kennewick's Robbie Mitchell are our early bets to headline a class that has the potential to be as deep as the Stewart-Jackson-Hasty class of two years ago.


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