Here's a few 805 running backs who caught my attention:
|Photo courtesy of the Ventura County Star|
A hard-nosed 5-foot-11, 200 pound running back, all Gray has done is two things: showing heart and not stopping his legs, and even getting his team to show more heart and make Channel Islands High relevant in Ventura County.
The incoming three-year varsity letter winner fits perfectly with the Raiders' old-school, smash mouth approach. He's the bell cow and the guy they want to give the rock too.
Gray (photo) has 10 100-yard games on his prep resume, with over 2,100 career rushing yards and 14 rushing scores in his two years of varsity experience. He also helped energize a Raider football team that was 2-8 his sophomore year, and even had their first season of being above the .500 mark since 2004.
Gray isn't much of a receiver right now, and he also had some fumbling issues with three lost fumbles off of four coughed footballs. In the end though, he's a workhorse back who can wear down the trenches. He would be a perfect fit for someone's pistol offense or just a run-heavy system.
NATHAN DEBEIKES, THOUSAND OAKS
DeBeikes is already committed to BYU. And, according to Scout.com, BYU seemed to be his lone offer.
DeBeikes is a two-way machine who already sports excellent size at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. He doubles as a versatile offensive playmaker and tackling machine at middle linebacker.
I tend to swing more towards the offensive side more for him. He showed some elusiveness for a 6-foot-2 back carrying the rock, with most of his scores coming from runs where he bounced to the outside after going between the tackles. He showed some patience with setting up his blocks and even came off as a determined runner thanks to his ability to break tackles. I didn't see anyone bring him down after first contact, it usually took the second or even fourth defender to bring him down.
One flaw on offense is that he doesn't seem to have the quickest burst through an open hole. He seems to spend more time trying to get his blocks set up, which isn't always a bad trait, but BYU will face lots and lots of defense speed in all likelihood. He may get caught from behind and even his toughness may not always break him loose.
But, I like his size, power and bounce when running the rock. Maybe the Cougars try him out at running back or with his tall frame and 4.54 speed, they move him around as a tight end/h-back.
He's also on this list because maybe he can get more additional love on the scholarship front, especially from the mid-major level.
MORE ON DEBEIKES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paOZa8h2lxg
CHEROKEE CUNNINGHAM, SANTA BARBARA (JUNIOR)
Not since the days of Randall Cunningham has there been a buzz about someone with the same surname.
This Cunningham dazzled the Santa Barbara High crowds with his electrifying runs as a sophomore, en route to his breakout 1,153 yard season to go along with 16 touchdowns.
Cunningham will have room to grow with his 5-foot-10, 175 pound frame. He'll also likely need to develop some inside power to show people he too can grind it out inside. He's also in a situation where for his junior year, he'll have to show people that he can finish the year strong.
After a huge 160 yard, four touchdown performance versus San Marcos-Santa Barbara, Cunningham was held to 139 yards and just one score in the final three games for the Dons.
Still though, this Cunningham will be one to watch down in Santa Barbara, just like another Cunningham was back in the 1980's.
COLLIN FARRAR, FILLMORE
Farrar is actually heading to Purdue University for an engineering camp, but no, doesn't sound like the Boilermakers offered him a full ride.
In fact, even after the trip, the 5-foot-9, 190 pound Farrar will not only be looking at an engineering career, but a career at the collegiate level for football someplace.
Farrar showed off excellent vision and a cutback ability that's common for running backs his size. He's a shifty back with some nice moves and even looks to be unafraid to go between the offensive tackles and pound it inside.
He does tend to go down right away on first contact. I rarely saw him catch the football or block, so I will probably not say right away that he's not the complete package most schools would look for. However, he can play at a smaller school who's big on engineering, and would want a productive back with a 4.1 grade point average.
MORE ON FARRAR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugIbux-ZpI
TAYLOR CORNEJO, LOMPOC
He's much smaller compared to the freakish 5-foot-11, 210 pound Coleman, but Cornejo seems to be an even faster running back for the Braves.
The 5-foot-7, 165 pound Cornejo has a very quick burst that will leave defenders playing catch-up. He can make people pay if they over-pursue especially on the outside. He too played a significant role for a Braves team currently on a 20-game win streak and two straight Southern Section championships, with his 1,075 yard and 14 touchdown season in 2011.
Cornejo obviously doesn't have the same size compared to Coleman, so there's one setback for him. He's also not as powerful or built like the future Washington Husky. Yet, he seems just as important to Lompoc's traditional wing-t offense just like his much-heralded teammate. Like Farrar, maybe another smaller school can take a chance on Cornejo.
NICK DAVIS, PACIFICA-OXNARD
One of the most versatile athletes in the 805, Davis doubles as a running and throwing threat for the Tritons.
The 5-foot-10, 185 pound Davis does his most damage on roll outs and the play action for Pacifica in the passing game. After looking at his film closely, he's probably better off being a running back or even wide receiver at the next level.
He doesn't have a very strong drop step as a quarterback, even taking no more than two steps, then throwing the ball down field. He also seemed to be more comfortable with play action passes and the roll out ones, so he doesn't make all kinds of throws.
However, I will say, he's got a burst to his running mobility and has an excellent change of direction when carrying the ball. He can even break tackles even with his rather small 5-foot-10, 185 pound frame.
If he does play quarterback at the next level, he's better off in an option offense where he'll take off and run a great majority of the time. He may not impress too many people with his arm, but when he takes off running, that's when you got to keep an eye on him.
MORE ON DAVIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRZiFw95XbM