An Early Start for Towns

After rushing for over 1,500 yards and 26 touchdowns last season as a sophomore, West Deptford (NJ) High tailback Gerald Towns holds three early offers, including one from Wisconsin.

MADISON - Sitting in class working on a worksheet in the spring, West Deptford (NJ) High junior Gerald Towns got a call that he needed to report to the athletic offices. He didn't think he was in trouble, but wasn't looking forward to awkwardness he thought was about to ensue.

"I thought I was getting called for a random drug test," Towns told Badger Nation. "Definitely not the highlight of my day."

The actual result was much more exciting, as the 6-1, 240-pound bruiser got on the phone to talk to running back coach Thomas Hammock, who offered him a scholarship.

"It was awe at first," said Towns. "He liked how I played. He liked my grades. He liked everything about me."

Towns plays in the same conference that former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne starred in during the mid 90s. While Towns was too young to remember the former Heisman Trophy winner's heroics in southern New Jersey and for the Badgers, his father has enlightened him as to the running back tradition Dayne helped create at Wisconsin.

"My dad said Dayne was a big, strong back," said Towns. "That's the way I like to play."

In addition to Wisconsin, Towns also holds early offers from Boston College and Rutgers.

"It meant a lot to get those early offers," Towns said. "It made me feel like I am being seen throughout the country now, and that people are starting to see me at a young age."

As a sophomore, Towns ran 163 times for 1,563 yard and 26 touchdowns. He defines himself as a ‘power back,' not surprising considering he also made 25 tackles playing defensive end and won the district state wrestling title at 220 pounds.

"I love running through the middle of the field and hitting people," said Towns. "I know I have to work on my breakaway speed. I know I am not the fastest running back in the conference, but I like to lower the shoulder."

Towns was largely absent from the summer camp circuit, choosing instead to work with his team in his school's offseason lifting program. That program consists of lifting three days a week that allows includes a conditioning and strength training program. Towns also has been kept busy by playing weekly in 7-on-7 tournaments.

"The velocity training has really helped because it's making me more of a flexible running back," said Towns. "It's making me run faster and will make me more efficient over the course of the game. I want to work on my cuts and speed, but I can tell already that my new velocity is already making a big difference."

Towns reports early interest from Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State and Penn State, and says he won't focus on his recruitment until next summer.

"I am sure everything will go great," said Towns.

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