By Brandon Pemberton
Here is my top 5 running back prospects heading into the 2012 college football season. On paper right now the group looks weak, but as the season goes along, it could improve. Be sure to checkout @SportsTrapRadio Saturdays from 10am-12pm on @UeRadioLive , hosted by Daniel Trawick, Chris Marshall, Stephon Harris, and my self Brandon Pemberton.
1. Marcus Lattimore 6-0 230lbs Junior South Carolina
Before he tore his ACL 8 games into the season, I predicted he could possibly be the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was that good, and if he returns to that form this season, he will end up being picked in the top ten. He is the complete back, can do it all: runs with power, finesse, speed, catches the ball, and is a willing blocker in pass protection. He was arguably the best player in college football before the injury last year.
2. Knile Davis 6-0 226lbs Junior Arkansas
After a terrific 2010 season as a true sophomore when he rushed for 1322 yards on 204 carries and 13 TD’s, Davis sat out last season with a broken ankle. He is back this season, and reports say he is back at full strength as well. I was really sold on him as a prospect after watching him in 2010 vs LSU and Ohio St. , running for 291 yards on 56 carries against elite defenses. He has pro size, great vision, cutback ability, runs with great pad level too. Tyler Wilson is going to be happy to have him back and heallthy this season.
3. Montee Ball 5-11 212lbs Senior Wisconsin
Production should be Ball’s middle name. He scored 33 TD’s last season, carried the ball over 300 times and run for over 1900 yards. He’s in better shape then he was during the 2010 season, when he weighed almost 240lbs and he looked quicker and a bit more explosive last year playing at 212lbs. Is he a product of the big Wisconsin offensive line like the other running backs who preceded him, or is he legit? Time will tell….
4. Christine Michael 5-11 220lbs Senior Texas A&M
Micheal was one of the nation’s top recruits 4 years ago, his talent is there, but injuries have plagued his college career. Season ending injuries to his legs have cut short his last two seasons. Last season he was well on his way to having an All-American type season before he tore his ACL and was done after 9 games. Well he is back, and according to reports, he’s been practicing full contact with no restrictions. He is a elite talent, good combination of size, speed and balance. He could rise up draft boards is he stays healthy and has a big year in A&M’s 1st season in the Big12.
5. Giovanni Bernard 5-10 205lbs Redshirt Sophomore UNC
Bernard might be the most explosive running back in the country. He can take the ball to the house at any given moment. He caught 45 passes last season, showing his worth in the pass game. A big year and the redshirt sophomore could possibly enter the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised to possibly see him rise to a 1st round pick before the 2013 draft and possibly to the 2nd-3rd spot on my list. He is young, has low mileage on his body and that is a big key.
The Next 5: Silas Redd 5-10 210lbs Junior USC, Eddie Lacy 5-10 220lbs Junior Alabama, Joseph Randle 6-0 192lbs Junior Oklahoma St. , Le’Veon Bell 6-2 244lbs Junior Michigan St. , Ray Graham 5-9 200lbs Senior
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