Class of 2008: Some Elite Running Backs (Part II)Richard Watson RB/LB 6'1 220 4.50 Tallahassee FAMU Florida
One of the nation’s elite RBs………Watson runs with a rare combination of power and speed. He’s an outstanding athlete and one of the top overall prospects in Florida…….As a junior, he named First Team Class 1B All-State (and Player of the Year) and First Team Tallahassee Democrat All-Big Bend after carrying the ball 241 times for 2,140 yards (9.0 ypc) and 34 TDs in helping to lead his team to the state Class 1B championship……..Also starts at LB…….As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,512 yards and 13 TDs and registered 75 tackles, 5 sacks and 12 TFL……..He possesses excellent size and runs with authority, power and speed……..A very hard worker with a strong will to win…..Originally from California…….Ohio State and Alabama were the first schools to offer him back in 2006.
Milton Knox RB/DB 5'9 195 4.50 Lake Balboa Birmingham California
It seems as though Knox has been on the recruiting radar forever, but this West Coast star is still just a junior and ranks among the very best RBs in the Class of 2008…….Has been named to all the relevant All-Underclass teams in California the past couple of years and was also a consensus First Team All-Los Angeles Area choice in addition to being named the City Player of the Year………As a junior, he carried the ball 328 times for 2374 yards (7.24 ypc) and 29 TDs and had 14 receptions for 96 yards….Dropped some weight before his junior season to become more elusive…… As a sophomore, he rushed 239 times for 1,606 yards and 26 TDs, while also catching 21 passes for another 336 yards and 3 TDs……..As a freshman, he helped lead Birmingham to the City Section championship by rushing for 505 yards and 6 TDs on 79 carries. He also caught 7 passes for 80 yards…….Knox has excellent quickness, vision and cutting ability. He’s a very instinctive back and has outstanding vision. He also runs low to the ground and with excellent lower body strength and power. His legs keep on churning, a lot like Michigan’s Mike Hart. Like Hart, he lacks breakaway speed……….Looked solid at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine……Following in the steps of Marlon Lucky and C.J. Gable as the City’s next great RB……….Fully qualified…….Good work ethic……..USC., UCLA, Florida State and Mississippi were among the schools to have offered Knox by early January 2007.
Jonas Gray RB 5'9 206 4.53 Birmingham Detroit Country Day Michigan
Gray is among the nation’s elite RBs and could be the top overall back in the Midwest………As a junior, he rushed for 1,252 yards and 19 TDs………As a sophomore, he strarted both at RB and NG, rushing for 797 yards and 15 TDs……Was a freshman starter at LB…….He was very impressive at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine and was named to the All-Combine team………..Like Eric Smith and Richard Watson, he’s another powerful back who runs with surprising speed (4.58 forty on a slow track at the Michigan camp, runs track and claims a 10.55 100-meters!) and quickness……..On film, he does a great job of getting quickly to the line of scrimmage and pushing through to the second line of defense……..Was impressive at the 2006 Columbus Nike camp and also at the NMichigan and Michigan State summer camps………Needs to improve on his pass-catching skills……Plays for a private school that has produced a lot of talent both in football and hoops (Chris Webber, Shane Battier) and is arguably the top academic school in the state (has sent several recent football prospects to Northwestern)…….Has a 3.2 GPA…..Michigan State and Colorado already offered him in 2006.
Sam McGuffie RB 5'9 178 4.32 Houston Cy-Fair Texas
Sam enjoyed a superlative junior season and is now being mentioned among the nation’s elite running backs………As a junior, he was named First Team Class 5A All-State after rushing for an impressive 3,121 yards and averaging 8.6 yards per carry……..One of the nation’s most improved players between his sophomore and junior seasons……As a sophomore, he earned Second Team All-District honors at RB after rushing for 853 yards (7.4 ypc) and 11 TDs………Speed and quickness are the name of his game, he’ as good as anyone in the prep ranks when in the open field…….At the college level could excel at TB, slotback and as a return man……..Very, very impressive on film, showing the power to easily break arm tackles at the prep level and the athleticism to leap over an opposing defender on a TD run (a popular video on U-Tube)………..Will need to get bigger, but he has been growing rapidly and his father is 6-5, 270…….Really wowed onlookers at a 2006 combine in Houston, earning MVP honors as a sophomore with the following marks: a 4.32 and a 4.35 in the forty, a 3.83 shuttle, a 41.8 vertical and 15 reps on the bench.……….Reportedly ran a sub 4.3 forty at the 2006 UTEP summer camp…..By mid-January he had received offers from Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
Kevin Whaley RB/DB 5'10 180 4.45 Virginia Beach Salem Virginia
Whaley is the top RB in Virginia and among the nation’s best.........Also a talented DB, many projected him to play in the secondary in college before an outstanding junior season solidified his status as a blue-chip RB………As a junior, he was named First Team AP AAA All-State and the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot Tidewater Area Player of Year after rushing for 1,992 yards and 37 TDs while averaging 7 yards per carry. He was also a First Team All-Beach District performer at DB……..As a sophomore, he was a Second Team All-Tidewater and All-Eastern Region selection while starting at RB & LB and rushing for 1,468 yards……As a freshman, he rushed for over 1,007 yards……He has excellent speed and is tough and physical on both sides of the ball……Old for his class, having turned 18 in November 2006…..A team leader…..Virginia Tech was the first team to offer.