Badger Nation Running Backs

With plenty of running backs already in camp, ball carriers aren't the main focus in Wisconsin's 2009 recruiting class. Nevertheless, there are a couple of talents that the Badgers have their eyes on heading into the summer.

2009 high school running backs that Wisconsin has shown legitimate interest in

Hersey Jackson (three stars)

6-foot-1, 208 pounds, 4.8 40-yard time

Allendale Public H.S. – Allendale, Michigan

There aren't many running backs the Badgers are looking at for the Class of 2009, as they have plenty of talented runners already suited up in the cardinal and white. But with such a talented Midwest prospect in Michigan's Hersey Jackson, the Badgers would be willing to add one more horse to the stable.

After rushing for roughly 1,800 yards (11 yards per carry) in his sophomore season, Jackson dialed up 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior campaign. A multi-sport athlete, Jackson also excels in basketball and track, where he runs the 100, 200 and 400 meter relay. This past season, he ran the 100m in an impressive 10.98 seconds.

The 58th-ranked running back in the nation, Jackson holds just two offers (Central Michigan and Cincinnati) but has gotten lots of interest from Big Ten schools Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and the Badgers. Jackson, who came to Wisconsin for a one-day camp last summer, plans on making another visit to the isthmus in the coming weeks.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium Interest

Stepfan Taylor (four star)

6-foot-0, 205 pounds, 4.5 40-yard time

Mansfield H.S. – Mansfield, Texas

One of the highest ranked running backs (No.26) in the state of Texas, Stepfan Taylor was spotted early on by the Badgers, who have had recent success in the state of Texas. After compiling 743 rushing yards and six touchdowns his sophomore year, Taylor broke out his junior season, carrying the ball 187 times for 1,596 yards (an 8.5 yards per carry average. Scoring 21 rushing and 25 overall touchdowns, it was no surprise that Taylor was an all-state honorable mention selection as well as first team all-area and the offensive MVP for the district.

Taylor is quick (4.5 40), strong (benches 265 and squats 415) and has the smarts (reports a 3.82 GPA) to make it on the college level, which is why plenty of schools have shown interest.

At last report, Taylor held offers from at least 14 schools, including Arizona, Houston, Kansas, Louisville, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU and Wisconsin.

While Taylor hasn't officially started cutting the scholarship list down, he indicated that his favorites right now are Texas A&M, TCU, Kansas, Stanford, Louisville, Texas Tech, and Missouri, which means that a) he would prefer to play football in the south and b) Wisconsin will have to look elsewhere for some Texas talent.

Status: Offered Scholarship – No Interest

Eric Williams (NR)

5-foot-11, 195 pounds, 4.63 40-yard time

Warren Central H.S. – Indianapolis, Indiana

After transferred from Fort Wayne Snider after one varsity season, Williams became part of the three-prong running back attack at Warren Central. Although his junior stats are incomplete, Williams had 292 yards on 37 carries (7.89 avg) and a TD and was the team's leading receiver with seven receptions for 102 yards and a TD through October.

A good prospect with a combination of speed and vision, Williams holds an offer from Northern Illinois and is getting interest from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Miami (OH), Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Having the ability to also play safety, Williams has already made or planning on making trips to Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium Interest

Carlos Hyde (four stars)

6-foot-0, 225 pounds, 4.65 40-yard time

Naples H.S. – Naples, Florida

The top fullback in the nation, Hyde has attracted plenty of intention from around the country, garnering 12 offers from the South and Midwest. Recently, Hyde narrowed down his list of schools to three: Florida State, Ohio State and West Virginia.

Hyde says that he is going to visit West Virginia for the first time and make another visit to Florida State in the summer. But, it may all be moot because he plans on making a visit to Ohio State in June. With his family being from Ohio, he'll be committing to them at that time.

Status: Offered Scholarship – No Interest

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