1 Thing Each Top 10 2015 RB Recruit Must Improve On
Running backs are not as in demand as they once were. However, the 2015 class still has a great group of runners who can help offenses in college.
Each one of the top 10 running back recruits in the 247Sports composite rankings is an impressive prospect. However, each of them also has at least one thing to improve on.
A speedy running back must get better at breaking tackles, while a powerful runner needs to lower his pad level. Also, a running back headed to an SEC school must improve his elusiveness.
At 5'11" and 210 pounds, Jordan Scarlett is a fantastic running back who can be a bell-cow at Miami. The Florida native has good straight-line speed, solid quickness and a ton of strength.
Scarlett displays good vision and instincts with the ball, and he reads blocks well. He needs to continue making sure his agility and elusiveness are on par with top-tier runners, though, and get more reps in the passing game.
His high school coach at St. Thomas Aquinas, Rocco Casullo, told the following to Matt Shodell of CaneSport.com (subscription required) on July 10:
He reminds me a lot of Herschel Walker, they run the same. The kid is 210 pounds with no body fat. His physique, work ethic, strength, it's pretty incredible. We're excited about him. He's a tremendous athlete.
He displays good quickness to and through holes. The North Carolina native is not afraid to bang inside between the tackles, either.
Frasier appears to be a straight-line runner at this point. He needs to improve his elusiveness and wiggle with the ball.
Watch out for Florida State with him.
Ronald Jones II
At 6'0" and 185 pounds, the future Cowboy is built more like a receiver. He needs to add more bulk and get stronger to be able to hold up on inside runs in college.
Among the top players in the state of Alabama is Desherrius Flowers. The 4-star running back is at his best when he can slam into holes as a downhill runner.
Flowers, who is 6'1" and 212 pounds, is committed to Alabama. He has great strength and power, but his lateral quickness and elusiveness need to be improved. Flowers has to gather to cut, and he doesn't display much wiggle in the open field.
Listed at 6'0" and 205 pounds, Larry Scott likely is a little bigger than that. The Ohio native is committed to Michigan State, where he should fit in well as a physical player.
Scott has impressive strength. His long speed isn't shabby, either. He must continue to improve his quickness through holes and make sure he can separate from defenders at junctions underneath in the passing game.
From Texas, Soso Jamabo looks outstanding on the hoof at 6'3" and 210 pounds. He possesses a nice combination of size and speed, and he can help in the passing game.
Aside from running too high at times, Jamabo needs to improve his instincts. He gets by now on being bigger and stronger than his opponents, but he needs to learn how to read defensive fronts better and quicker before and after the snap.
Keep an eye on UCLA and Notre Dame.
Jamabo told the following to A.J. Jacobson of Duck Sports Authority (subscription required) on July 15:
It is difficult. A lot of people say I look like a receiver. As a running back I try to use my big body to the best of my ability. I like to get in space and for the little corners who come after me they don't really want to tackle me. At the next level that will be harder but for now, it is a little easier for the size I am to play.
Taj Griffin is among the most dangerous offensive recruits in the country. At 5'10" and 175 pounds, the Georgia native is an explosive runner who has fantastic speed, shiftiness, quickness and explosiveness.
Griffin, however, isn't the strongest or most powerful running back. The 4-star recruit doesn't allow defenders to get a clean shot on him often, but he'll definitely need to improve his tackle-breaking ability to reach his full potential at Oregon.
At 6'1.5" and 230 pounds, Jacques Patrick is a large 4-star running back with impressive size and bulk. He also has some quickness and speed in his running style, and he can catch passes well out of the backfield.
As with most taller running backs, Patrick does run upright often. He comes through alleys too high at times, leaving the ball and his upper body exposed to defenders. The Florida native needs to improve on lowering his pad level with the ball in his hands when coming through holes.
Florida State is at 100 percent in his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Kerryon Johnson is a great 4-star athlete who will likely play running back at Auburn.
The 6'0", 200-pounder makes great decisions behind the line of scrimmage. From Alabama, Johnson can pick and slide to holes with fabulous quickness and explosiveness. He also has the strength to break tackles.
What he needs to work on is showing off more long speed.
A 5-star running back, Damien Harris is 5'11" and 205 pounds. The Kentucky native has excellent speed, and he can impact the passing game on third downs.
Harris excels as a one-cut runner, as his straight-line speed is terrific. His change-of-direction ability isn't bad, but there appears to be more agile and elusive runners in this class.
Ohio State is currently Harris' leader, according to 247Sports.
All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' composite rankings.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.
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 and Cleveland Browns.