This shapes up as an outstanding year for running backs--tailbacks and big backs. In fact, all of the leading tailbacks are rated among the top 100 prospects in the nation and the first six big backs are ranked among the elite.
The top 10 tailbacks:
1. Aaron Green of San Antonio, Texas, is a 5-11, 180-pounder with 4.37 speed who is uncommitted. He ranks as the No. 13 player in the nation and is one of the fastest ball-carriers of all. He had an outstanding sophomore year but was plagued by injuries as a junior. He is considering Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Florida State and Georgia.
2. Herschel Sims of Abilene, Texas, is a 5-9, 190-pounder with 4.4 speed who ranks as the No. 19 player in the nation and is built like Barry Sanders. He led his team to a state championship last season and is committed to Oklahoma State. He is short but powerful, a prolific rusher.
3. Brandon Bigelow of Fresno, Calif., is a 5-10, 180-pounder with 4.4 speed who is the No. 32 player in the nation. He was slowed by injuries as a junior and played only five games but averaged 11 yards per carry. He is committed to Washington. When healthy, he could be the best tailback in the nation.
4. Mike Bellamy of Punta Gorda, Fla., is a 5-11, 180-pounder with 4.31 speed who is committed to Clemson. He is the No. 41 player in the nation. An All-Stater as a junior, he is super fast and very productive, an all-the-way threat.
5. Savon Huggins of Jersey City, N.J., is a 6-0, 198-pounder with 4.39 speed who is rated as the No. 50 player in the nation. Last week, he rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns. He is on his way to posting a knockout season and is one of the leading uncommitted recruits in the country. USC and Notre Dame are interested. It figures that he will move up the top 100 list at the end of the season.
6. Jameel Poteat of Harrisburg, Pa., is a 5-11, 206-pounder with 4.47 speed who is rated as the No. 51 player in the nation. He is a workhorse and very productive. The more he carries the ball, the stronger he gets. Uncommitted, he had over 50 offers in June. He is considering USC, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Michigan and Notre Dame.
7. Justice Hayes of Grand Blanc, Mich., is a 5-10, 187-pounder with 4.42 speed who is committed to Notre Dame. He is the No. 60 player in the nation. A slasher with good vision and speed, he will fit into Notre Dame's offense, which desperately needs a running threat in the backfield.
8. Shon Carson of Lake City, S.C., is a 5-9, 195-pounder with 4.39 speed who ranks as the No. 68 player in the nation. He is small but explosive, super fast and strong. He also is one of the leading high school baseball players in the nation. He could be a high draft choice in June and choose professional baseball. Uncommitted in football, he is considering Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, UCLA and Tennessee.
9. Isaiah Crowell of Columbus, Ga., is a 6-0, 200-pounder with 4.43 speed who ranks as the No. 91 player in the nation. An All-Stater as a junior, he averaged 10 yards per carry. He runs with speed and power. Uncommitted, he is considering Georgia, Florida State, Clemson, Florida, Alabama, California, Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee.
10. De'Ante Saunders of Deland, Fla., is a 6-0, 180-pounder with 4.4 speed who is committed to Florida. He is the No. 94 player in the nation. He can run, catch and block and has emerged as one of the best all-around backs in the South.