Top Landing Spots for Camar Wheaton, CFB's No. 1 RB Recruit for 2021
As the 2021 cycle becomes the focus of the recruiting world, Camar Wheaton stands as the top-ranked running back in the class.
The 5'11", 190-pounder from Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland, Texas, is considered the No. 6 overall prospect. He already holds offers from 28 teams, including three of last season's College Football Playoff qualifiers, plus Alabama, Florida, Michigan and more.
Several factors will shape his recruitment. We focused on national contenders and also weighed proximity to Garland and likelihood of immediate playing time.
While the highlighted programs aren't surprises, a player of Wheaton's caliber often can choose any team in the country. However, only the squads that had extended Wheaton a scholarship offer as of Tuesday were considered for the list.
5. Texas A&M
There were many reasonable options for the No. 5 spot.
Proximity favors Texas and Texas A&M, while Florida and Georgia are more likely national contenders. Michigan, Notre Dame and USC merit consideration. However, the combination of proximity and likelihood of immediate playing time at Texas A&M won out.
The Aggies' only returning scholarship back in 2020 is Isaiah Spiller. Though Ainias Smith will convert from wide receiver, and A&M signed four running backs in the most recent class, that's a whole lot of potential and little production.
Wheaton, who visited College Station in February 2019, would absolutely have a chance to contribute right away.
4. Ohio State
As a program, Ohio State speaks for itself. Excluding the outlier year in 2011 after Jim Tressel's departure, the Buckeyes have 10-plus victories in every season since 2005.
If proximity to home matters to Wheaton, that's a negative for Ohio State. However, the depth chart isn't exactly stacked. The Buckeyes signed 3-star Miyan Williams in the 2020 cycle and mid-4-stars Steele Chambers and Marcus Crowley in the 2019 cycle.
That's not a knock on those players, but the absence of another 5-star is notable.
Wheaton has visited Ohio State, and Buckeyes coach Ryan Day made the trip to Lakeview Centennial in late January, per Bill Kurelic of 247Sports.
Similar to Ohio State, Oklahoma has a tradition of winning and an appealing depth chart. The Sooners have the edge when it comes to proximity.
Trey Sermon and Rhamondre Stevenson will be seniors in 2020, and Kennedy Brooks will again have the option to declare for the NFL draft after the season. Oklahoma has other talented backs in T.J. Pledger, Marcus Major and 2020 signee Seth McGowan, but the Sooners use a deep rotation.
As long as Wheaton isn't focused solely on being a day-one starter, a prolific offense and OU's dominance in the Big 12 will be tempting.
Well, duh, it's Alabama.
Since a 7-6 campaign in Nick Saban's first season, the Crimson Tide are 150-17 with five national championships and six SEC titles in the sport's best league. We understand Alabama fatigue, but the Tide have earned this high regard.
That history of success vaulted Alabama past Oklahoma, and proximity favors the Tide over Ohio State. It also atones for the depth chart, which is expected to feature 2019 5-star Trey Sanders and top 2020 4-star Jase McClellan by the time Wheaton would arrive.
While one program sits above Saban's squad, Wheaton could hardly go wrong in picking Alabama.
The national champion fits a similar mold as Alabama but has an ever-so-slight edge on proximity.
LSU has highly regarded talent in 2019 5-star John Emery Jr., 2018 4-star Chris Curry, 2019 4-star Tyrion Davis-Price and 2020 4-star Kevontre Bradford. Still, it's reasonable to think Wheaton would have a path to a regular rotational spot as a sophomore.
Though the Tigers are more volatile than the Tide, for example, they've notched eight-plus wins in every season since 2000. LSU is consistently in the SEC conversation.
Plus, the interest is there. Wheaton took an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge in early February, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.