The class of 2011 in the state of Texas features the deepest running back class in recent memory. The class features make-you-miss backs, inside power runners, one-cut vertical runners, advanced pass catchers out of the backfield and a terrific fullback prospect.
On Sunday, the Longhorns will host most of the state’s finest.
San Antonio Madison’s Aaron Green is not only the most electric running back in the 2011 class, but one of the best in the nation. At 5-10, and 180 pounds, Green uses his terrific feet, quickness, burst and change of direction to cut, dart, stop/start and accelerate by and around defenders.
In space, there isn’t a better runner in the state regardless of class.
Green, the younger brother of 2009 Nebraska signee Andrew Green, has already received verbal offers from the likes of Georgia, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
Green rushed for 2,024 yards and 27 touchdowns and caught 215 yards in passes as a sophomore.
Last weekend, Green placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles at the state meet with a time of 14.24.
It’s not often that a 5A prospect from the Houston area can be considered a sleeper, but former Humble running back Donovonn Young is just that. The 5-10, 207-pounder, who will play at Katy High in 2009, battled a high ankle sprain for more than half of the season and has flown under the radar compared to many of his peers.
Young played four full games and parts of three others as a sophomore rushing for 472 yards and five scores on 72 carries.
The most physically impressive of the running backs is blessed with good feet and flexibility with the ability to cut both laterally and vertically. Young uses a powerful body type, especially in the lower body, to run through arm tackles and maximize runs moving the pile with feet that are always moving forward.
North Mesquite’s Joe Bergeron is a prospect that is unique in the day and age of spread offenses and empty sets. The 5-11.5, 228-pounder is true fullback, H-back and one back. Bergeron is a downhill runner with power and deceptive feet. In fact, his feet and hands have become his strength.
What makes Bergeron a top-notch prospect is his willingness to block, doing so with aggressiveness and power, and his often times spectacular hands. Bergeron made two or three shoestring catches out of the backfield without breaking stride in 2008 and maximizes after the catch with power and forward lean.
Bergeron rushed 60 times for 416 yards and six scores as a sophomore. He added 12 receptions for 158 yards.
The Odessa High junior-to-be is one of the top two sport athletes in the state having started as a freshman and sophomore on the varsity baseball team. On the football field, the 5-11, 173-pounder is the most advanced catching the ball out of the backfield to the tune of 30 receptions for 484 yards and five touchdowns in 2008.
As a runner, Marquez has very good vision, sees the cut back quickly and excels as a one cut, vertical runner. The latest Big Country star back doesn’t feature wasted motion and works from point A to B as well as any back in the class.
Marquez rushed for over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore in addition to the near 500 yards receiving.
The Cibolo Steele product missed time in 2008 like Donovonn Young. The 5-11, 213-pounder played and carried the load in seven games for the talented 4A program rushing for 1,351 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Brown is a downhill runner with above average feet. He’s not going to accelerate by defenders at the next level, but he will maximize carries and is a back that can handle 20-25 carries per game.
A hard worker in practice, in the weight room and in the classroom, Brown has all of the characteristics college program covet.
The Woodlands star is one of the more improved players in the 2011 class from a physically development perspective. The 6-0, wiry strong back played at around 175 pounds in 2008, but showed a quickly developing body in the spring carrying around 185 pounds.
Lasco, like Marquez, has the ability to make one cut and accelerate, but is even a little more explosive to the second level.
At times, Lasco can show stop/start ability making defenders miss in space.
Lasco rushed for over 1,100 yards in 2008.
Selders is an intriguing prospect at 5-11, and 175 pounds. The Cy Creek junior-to-be put together a productive sophomore campaign rushing for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns as well as catching 19 passes for 165 yards earning first team all-district honors.
Watching Selders at a spring practice, he has very good feet and vision to start. He also showed a jump cut and skip cut making defenders miss in the hole and in space. He has soft hands and turns up the field quickly after the catch.
Selders, like Lasco, has a wiry strong frame. His lower body development is ahead of his upper body at this point. Selders is a prospect that could play running back and slot receiver at the next level. Selders is as versatile as any back in the class.
Sims is the shortest of the backs at around 5-8.5, but is powerful and strong at about 190 pounds. Sims, like Marquez, is ahead of others in the passing game. He was often times used in motion out of the backfield or from the slot position as a sophomore and played a dual running back/receiver role.
Sims shows soft hands and the ability to make the tough over the shoulder catch while being tightly defended.
As a runner, Sims keeps the feet pumping and rarely goes down on initial contact. He seemingly fights for every yard and has the feet and power to make decisive cuts and run through arm tackles.
He also possesses very good balance as expected with his low center of gravity.
Sims rushed for 633 yards and 10 scores on 70 carries in 2008 as well as catching 26 passes for 440 yards and six additional touchdowns on his way to 3-5A Sophomore of the Year honors.
Don’t forget 2012
The next big time player out of La Marque will be 2012 running back Timothy Wright. Blessed with a terrific running back body type at a shade over 5-9 and 183 power packed pounds, Wright already has college coaches drooling.
Wright played on the varsity late in the 2008 season rushing for 304 yards on 45 carries, including 15 attempts for 189 yards and two touchdowns against 4A state semi-finalist Friendswood in the last game of the season.
Wright has very good vision and feet. He does a great job of reading the linebacker and seeing the cut back lane early. Once through the first level, he has the power along with the ability to get the pads down and run through contact as well as the speed and cutting ability to work to the sidelines.
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