Power Ranking the Top 10 Scat Backs of 2014 College Football Recruiting Class

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IApril 4, 2013

Power Ranking the Top 10 Scat Backs of 2014 College Football Recruiting Class

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    We all know the basic positions on the field for the game of football. From the quarterback to wide receiver to linebacker to cornerback, everyone knows the positions of play. However, those are just the basic positions as within each spot, there's many different kinds of positions that aren't listed on the depth chart.

    For starters, the position of "dual-threat" QB is just now becoming a position that has its own category in recruiting. Years ago, they were called just "running quarterbacks" and really were downgraded. 

    As I said before, there are a ton of positions that aren't listed on the depth chart at which teams build depth. For the RB position, one of those sub-positions is the "scatback." Scatbacks are the smaller, quicker, speedier and more elusive running backs.

    They may not be the strongest or most powerful runners, but they can be lethal to defenses due to their agility and slippery running style. For the following list, here are the top 10 scatbacks in the 2014 class.

10. Mikale Wilbon

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    Wilbon is a teammate of Jamarco Jones, who's a top-level OL prospect in his own right. From Illinois, Wilbon is a 5'9", 190-pound runner who shows scatback traits.

    He ran for more than 1,600 yards as sophomore, but battled a lingering knee injury which held him to just 813 yards. Wilbon, when healthy, is one of the faster backs in the country this year and has great elusiveness.

    Look for him to stay in the Midwest.

9. Devon Thomas

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    Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma always produces good talent and Thomas is the latest stud from the school. He's a 5'10" and 190-pound runner who runs like a high 4.4 guy.

    Thomas is committed to Oklahoma State and appears to be a great fit for Mike Gundy's offense. With his speed and quickness, Thomas should be able to exploit running lanes that the Pokes' spread offense dictates to defenses.

8. Myles Autry

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    Autry is one of the best pure scatbacks in this year's class and fits the role perfectly. He's from Georgia and is electric with the ball in his hands.

    Autry, who's 5'9" and weighs 175 pounds, has very good play speed, elusiveness and is very creative with the ball. He can also return kicks and punts while also being deployed in the slot to work on safeties and linebackers too.

7. Justin Jackson

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    If you're looking for a back that is going to challenge tacklers in run alleys with strength and push piles, go look for someone else.

    If you need a guy who's dangerous in space, can take a checkdown pass for a big gain and tire out a defense, then Jackson is your man. He's from Illinois and plays the RB position at 5'11" and 170 pounds.

    A perfect potential college scatback, Jackson has quick feet and great moves in the open field.

6. Shaun Nixon

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    Nixon is a 5'9", 180-pounder from Texas with great speed whose strength is improving each year. He has a lot of body quickness in his running style and has dart to the edges in a flash.

    Nixon has solid awareness with the football is a very tough for a defender to square up and land a big hit on. He's committed to Texas A&M and has good hands to be depended on in the passing game.

5. Derrell Scott

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    From North Carolina, Scott is one of the most naturally elusive runners in this year's RB class. The 5'11", 185-pound back has excellent quickness and isn't afraid to press holes.

    Scott shows good hands and can be great on underneath throws due to his creativity with the ball. He has good alley quickness and displays good long speed to get yards in big chunks.

    Scott's open with the recruiting process right now.

4. Christian McCaffrey

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    Perhaps the best player in Colorado this year, McCaffrey is a 6'0", 190-pound RB who gets the job done with darting ability, alley quickness and agility.

    He is terrific at blowing through holes and skating up to the second level before slow-reacting LBs can, well, react. In space, McCaffrey is very dangerous and his ability to elude defenders and also cut back lets him make dazzling plays.

    He's no slouch as a receiver, likely since his father, Ed, was a WR for the Broncos.

3. D.K. Buford

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    Ole Miss has to be giddy over landing Buford, who is one of the best prospects from Mississippi this year. He stands about 5'10", weighs just under 190 pounds and reminds me a bit of Chris Johnson when he was at East Carolina. 

    Buford has track-like speed on the football, and if you allow him to square his shoulders to the goal posts while having the football, he's probably gone. Buford also has quick feet and great stop and start ability.

2. Dalvin Cook

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    The only reason Cook isn't No. 1 on this list is because one could argue he isn't a true "scatback." He does, however, show scatback skills and traits with the ball.

    From the South Florida area, Cook is a 5'10", 197-pound back with smooth movement skills, instincts, outstanding quickness and impressive elusiveness. He shows the ability to jump cut and even double cut at times.

    Committed to Clemson, Cook could do similar things to what CJ Spiller did.

1. Joseph Yearby

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    Can you imagine Cook and Yearby are teammates? Wow.

    Yearby is a 5'9", 191-pounder who runs with very good quickness, can shake and bake in the open field and punishes defenses even when tacklers have proper pursuit angles on him.

    Yearby runs with good athleticism and vision, and he's very productive when given the ball in space. He's committed to Miami and could be a legend in the 305.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.