Class of 2008: Some Elite Running Backs (Part IV)
Ryan Williams RB/DB 5'10 193 4.52 Manassas Stonewall Jackson Virginia
Williams challenges Kevin Whaley as the top RB in Virginia and is among the nation’s better RB prospects…….As a junior he was named AP Second Team Class AAA All-State and Washington Post Honorable Mention All-Metro after carrying the ball 167 times for 1,572 yards and 20 TDs………..His sophomore season was cut short after having surgery for a torn meniscus, however he rushed for over 500 yards and 7 TDs in earning Second Team All-District honors at RB…………As a freshman, Williams rushed for 920 yards in 9 games and scored 7 TDs. He also had 14 receptions for 224 yards and two scores and returned two kickoffs for scores. He started as strong safety in the playoffs……. Has the combination of speed, strength and athleticism to become a top back…..…….Looked good on the 2006 combine circuit (4.50 forty, 4.63 shuttle, 21 bench reps, 36-inch vertical)…….275 bench, 255 power clean as a sophomore…..Ran a 10.94 100-meters as a freshman…..3.0 GPA as a sophomore…..By the end of 2006 there were unconfirmed reports that he had offers from the likes of Clemson, Notre Dame, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Debrale Smiley RB 5'11 225 4.60 Thomasville Thomas County Central Georgia
One of the nation's top backs…………As a junior he was named Honorable Mention Class AAAA All-State even though he had to split carries with a talented senior TB………..As a sophomore, this prep fullback he rushed for 1,423 yards and 22 TDs on 222 carries and earned First Team Class AAAA All-State honors….Some feel he is the best junior in the state……Has great size and is a strong, powerful runner who really beats up defenses on the inside. Runs with terrific balance.
Tauren Poole RB 5'10 194 4.65 Toccoa Stephens County Georgia Tennessee
Poole is one of the South’s top backs…….First Team Anderson (SC) Independent Mail Georgia Area and the Player of the Year as a junior after rushing for 1,975 yards and 25 TDs……..As a sophomore he rushed for 1,350 yards (4.8 ypc)and 24 TDs despite missing two games…….He has a great work ethic…….A downhill runner who runs hard, has decent speed, great power (benches over 300), a nice cutback and fine vision……..Looked very good at the 2006 Georgia summer camp……Really impressed on the 2006 combine circuit (34-inch vertical, 4.35 shuttle, 4.65 forty, 25 bench reps)……..3.6 GPA and 1,200 on the SAT……Plans to enroll in college in January 2008…..There are conflicting reports as to whether Poole committed to Tennessee in November over unconfirmed offers from Clemson and Auburn.
Jeremy Hills RB 6'0 186 4.40 Alief Elsik Texas Texas
Hills is one of the elite backs in Texas an among the nation’s better backs……..As a junior hen earned First Team All-District 18-5A honors RB after earning Second Team District 19-5A honors as a return man his sophomore year……..Looked good at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine…..Rushed for 1,328 yards (7.3 ypc) and 15 TDs and had 264 yards receiving during the regular season as a junior……. As a sophomore he rushed for 518 yards and 3 TDs on 58 carries (8.9 ypc)………Runs with great speed, quickness and vision. He won’t be caught from behind. Nice hands catching the ball out of the backfield…….Good bloodlines as his older brother, Tony, is starting OL at Texas.…..As of mid-February he had offers from Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.........He committed to Texas in February.
Delano Howell RB/DB 6'1 185 4.50 Newhall Hart California
It’s a pretty good year for running backs in the Los Angeles area and Howell ranks up there among the best…….He plays for a program that regularly produces Division I talent………….As a junior he was named CalHiSports.com First Team Underclass All-State and First Team All-Area by the Los Angles Daily News after carrying the ball 235 times for 1,491 yards (6.35 avg.) and 29 TDs. He also had 41 receptions for 625 yards (15.24 avg.) and 6 TDs………..As a sophomore he had 147 carries for 762 yards (5.18 avg.) and 9 TDs and 13 receptions for 153 yards in earning First Team Sophomore All-State honors despite being injured for part of the season…… Was the only sub-junior on the varsity as a freshman and carried the ball 12 times for 35 yards…….Also starts at DB and could project on either side of the ball in college due to his toughness and aggressiveness……..A physical and tough runner who has pretty good quickness and nice feet. Really excels at catching the ball out of the backfield…….Has an older brother, Dan, who plays at Washington.