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August 2, 2012
The summer camps have wound down and the Rivals.com recruiting analysts were all over the country, scouting hundreds of prospects. Over the next week, Rivals.com is releasing our Summer Standouts list, position-by-position. Here is our list of running backs, led by Greg Bryant, who reopened his commitment after being pledged to Oklahoma and Taquan Mizzell, one of the busiest prospects on the circuit.
Note: This does not reflect a guaranteed move up in our next set of rankings. Many players listed had excellent summers but also proved we had them ranked in the correct range in our previous rankings. These are in alphabetical order.
Greg Bryant, Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage School: Bryant was so impressive at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge there is a good chance he can move up higher in the rankings. There are few running backs that play with his speed and intensity yet under control. The recent Oklahoma de-commit, who's looking at Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina, is a tough runner and also showed the ability to be a lethal threat catching the ball out of the backfield.
Corey Clement, Glassboro (N.J.): Clement might not make a significant jump in the rankings, but the Pittsburgh commit had a strong showing at the Top Gun camp to establish himself as one of the best running backs in the Northeast. Clement has an outstanding frame, but ran a little high through some of the drills. If that can be remedied, he would be even tougher to tackle and a bigger asset for the Panthers.
Alex Collins, Plantation (Fla.) South Plantation: Collins has bulked up to about 200 pounds, which makes him an even more impressive prospect after doing so well at the Florida State camp this summer. The Miami commit is a thick runner who has explosive speed and good top-end speed as well. The four-star has good wiggle and gets down the field quicker than expected.
Mark Dodson Jr., Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven: The Ole Miss commit was seen at the Mississippi State camp and The Opening and had impressive moments at both events. He's not the biggest player in the world, but Dodson has surprising speed and burst and has great moves once he gets the ball in his hands. At The Opening, he was great escaping from linebackers during drills.
Leonard Fournette, New Orleans St. Augustine: The rising junior was impressive at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and the LSU camp. He is a North-South runner who can take a pounding since he's 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. But Fournette was also a surprising resource catching passes out of the backfield. The 2014 prospect does not have explosive speed, but maybe that's something that could be developed in the coming years.
Ryan Green, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic: The Florida State commit attended arguably the two best events of the summer in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and The Opening and impressed at both. He is a solid check-down option for the quarterback as Green comes out of the backfield and has no problem catching the ball. Once he has it, the four-star can make people miss, gain extra yards and he has some shake to him.
Ty Isaac, Joliet (Ill.) Catholic: The USC commit was seen at the Illinois Nike Camp and The Opening and the first thing that's impressive is that he's a physical specimen. He's 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and moves well for his size, plus he catches the ball out of the backfield and is just a nightmare to tackle. Isaac showed up late to The Opening, which was a disappointment because we would have loved to see him in drills.
Tony James, Gainesville (Fla.) 2014: The rising junior from Gainesville already has offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Ohio State, UCF and UCLA. He went just miles down the road to impress this summer at Florida's Friday Night Lights. James has as much speed as anyone and did well at wide receiver during 1-on-1s at that event. He was unstoppable at times because he plays with such quickness.
Alvin Kamara, Norcross (Ga.): Kamara was seen at The Opening and Gridiron Kings and showed off many of the same attributes that make him a top four-star prospect. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound prospect is a quality receiver coming out of the backfield who catches everything thrown his way and does a good job making people miss once he's in the open field.
Taquan Mizzell, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside: The four-star was seen at Gridiron Kings, The Opening, the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and elsewhere and shined at every event. He is a constant threat coming out of the backfield and not only as a dump-down option. Mizzell has the quickness to go deep and make big catches. Numerous times he made big-time plays, and after a strong summer, Mizzell is pushing for a big bump up the rankings.
Terrell Newby, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade: Newby was not at many events this season, but really shined at the Dana Hills Air Strike tournament and proved he's rated too low. The three-star prospect has put up big numbers in the last two seasons and can run between the tackles or come out of the backfield and catch passes.
Samuel Stewart, Cypress (Texas) Cypress Woods: Stewart impressed at the LSU camp and the Texas 7-on-7 this summer and also at the Mississippi State and Texas Tech camps, where he earned his first two offers. The 2014 prospect is short and compact, so he's good between the tackles, but he can also get outside and make things happen after the catch.
Kelvin Taylor, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Day: The Florida commit backed up his big-time reputation at The Opening where he seemed a step -- or two -- faster than every linebacker during the gauntlet drills. He hits the corner with so much speed, but doesn't lose his balance and then accelerates and runs with a lot of power.
Altee Tenpenny, North Little Rock (Ark.): Tenpenny looks like one of the most powerful and stout running backs in this class because of his thick lower frame and incredibly strong legs. At The Opening, he showed no signs of a knee injury that sidelined him last season. He's strong and powerful and looks to have an SEC body already.
Mikale Wilbon, Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle: Wilbon has already landed a Purdue offer, and after his performance at the Ohio State Friday Night Lights camp, many others could be coming his way. The 2014 prospect has everything one is looking for in a ball carrier, from a thick, powerful frame to a lot of speed and quickness.
Dontre Wilson, DeSoto (Texas): The Oregon commit proved he was one of the fastest players in the state at the Texas 7-on-7, especially when he would go down the sideline on a route. With his speed, quickness and playmaking ability, he should be a perfect fit in the Ducks' offense, whether it's running the ball or coming out of the backfield to make a play.