Scouting Report: Keshawn Vaughn – 2015 Running Back

Sometimes players are so much better than their opponents at the prep level that it’s almost unfair. It’s like they are on “Madden” level and the players they are facing are stuck on “Rookie”.

That seems to be the case with running back Keshawn Vaughn, a dominant player that routinely produces big plays against competition that doesn’t look like they belong on the same field as him.

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Scouting Report: Jeremy Smith – 2015 JUCO Running Back

There is under the radar and then there is a player like Jeremy Smith.

Smith is a running back that went the JUCO route for this past season at Fresno City College after not gaining much interest out of high school. Less than a year later and twenty pounds heavier, he just received a Notre Dame offer and could find himself with a lot more interest after a monster freshman season.

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Scouting report: Tavien Feaster – 2016 Running Back

People like to say things like, “Speed can’t be taught.” That’s not entirely the case. Just ask Aeneas Williams. But for the most part, there are some people that are going to be faster than everyone else no matter how hard others work at it.

Tavien Feaster has that kind of speed. The kind of speed where even other fast guys marvel at him. The Spartunburg (South Carolina) running back can flat out fly and that is what separates him from a lot of other backs in the 2016 recruiting class.

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Scouting Report: Kareem Walker – 2016 Running Back

There are plenty of types of running backs that can fit into college offenses currently, but it’s rare to find that feature back that can carry the load for a program game in and game out.

Kareem Walker fits in that feature back category. He’s a big back that has the athletic skills of a much smaller player and he is only going to continue to get bigger and stronger.

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SoaC Position Rankings: Top 10 Running Backs for 2015

Honestly, if I listed honorable mentions for the running back position I could have probably listed about twenty other names for this list.

But I chose not to because this is my list based on my evaluations. If I had ten scholarships to give out at running back (like it seems Alabama has in some years), these would be the first ten guys I send out offers to.

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Scouting Report: Nyheim Hines – 2015 Running Back

It’s fun to see things in players that you may not expect based on their physical dimensions. Seeing a 290 pound offensive tackle with nimble feet or a 240 pound defensive end run like a wide receiver is so unique and awesome to watch that it’s tough to describe how special it is that these kids are able to do these things.

But for some reason I like seeing the little guys play big more than anything else. The first thing that would stand out to many who watch Nyheim Hines would probably be his outstanding speed, but for me, it’s the power he runs with in such a small package. The Garner High running back runs with an uncommon authority for a player his size and it’s a big reason why I think he has a bright future in college football.

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Scouting Report: Andre Robinson – 2015 Running Back

Bill O’Brien took over an extremely difficult situation overall at Penn State, but he was put in a definite bind by the restrictions on scholarships in recruiting. Even though he was able to attract some quality, he could never amass the quantity every team needs to help build a successful program.

Fortunately for James Franklin the scholarship situation isn’t as brutal as it was previously and he is able to bring in a lot more quantity with the number of recruits that can sign with Penn State, but he’s also doing a tremendous job of upping the level of quality to the recruiting class as well. They currently have twelve composite four star players out of the seventeen commitments for the 2015 class.

One of those twelve is running back Andre Robinson out of Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Penn State went through a run where it seemed like they had loaded backfields for decades and then all of a sudden the well dried up towards the end of the Paterno era. Adding a power back like Robinson (in addition to Saquon Barkley) is a great step in re-establishing that running back tradition that was so strong for years in Happy Valley.

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Scouting Report: Cameron Scarlett – 2015 Running Back

If there is one position in recruiting where one man’s opinion can differ significantly from another’s when it comes to evaluation, running back is certainly it. One player can be ranked in someone’s top twenty, yet somehow be the eighty eighth best player at the position to someone else.

The big thing to me is that the elite guys separate themselves with unique burst and explosiveness that some other players don’t have. Most of the rest of the top fifty players at running back are fairly similar in terms of athleticism so there needs to be some kind of skill or skills that can separate them from the rest of the pack. For Cameron Scarlett, it’s his ability to catch the football. His versatility is a huge asset and has helped him become one of the top running backs on the west coast in the class of 2015.

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Scouting Report: Malik Lovette – 2015 Athlete

You often hear analysts compare football to a game of chess, but I prefer to compare it to a game of Nintendo’s Ice Hockey. There are big guys (strong, but slow), medium sized guys (faster, but not as strong), and skinny guys (fastest, but also weakest) in the video game and the person controlling the game has to select the right combination of those players to match up against the other team.

In that way, it’s not that much different than football. Big guys are going to be able to match up with big guys, but have trouble matching up with smaller guys in the speed department while smaller guys will have trouble handling the strength of big guys. A lot of big guys on the field on offense calls for a lot of big guys to play against them on defense (eg short yardage packages). When the offense substitutes big guys for small guys, the defense needs to adjust accordingly (eg nickel packages).

So how the heck does any of this relate to Malik Lovette? Well, Lovette has position versatility. He is someone who can take advantage of being matched up against a linebacker or a safety. Remember, small guys are faster than the medium sized guys.

This is all just a long way of saying that Lovette is tough match up for a lot of players on defense and it will be exciting to see how he is used on offense at the college level.

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Scouting Report: Andrew Dowell – 2015 Running Back

It’s not easy being the twin brother of someone who is a highly recruited football star. Unless of course you are just as highly recruited.

Andrew Dowell is a talented running back prospect and his brother, David Dowell, is an equally as talented wide receiver/cornerback. They were both a package deal to Northwestern, but now are both open to new schools. It sounds like they will remain a package deal and whoever signs them will end up with two very good football players, one of whom has the potential to be a big time feature back the next level.

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