|photo courtesy of 24/7 sports|
At a state where big running backs like Imperial 2014 6-feet, 210-pound prospect Royce Freeman (19 offers) and Freedom-Oakley's freakish 6-foot-2, 200-pound Joe Mixon (48 offers) have generated plenty of buzz, we can't overlook the small backs either.
In fact, I found four in Southern California who can break ankles and break off the long runs. Here's a closer look:
KURT SCOBY, MONROVIA
Offers: Four (Miami, Fresno State, Oregon State and South Dakota State)
Scoby (photo) is a deadly straight line runner who turns on the jets after he gets the ball. His burst, his ability to turn the corner and take off on counter runs are strengths. He's also been impressive as a linebacker during the off-season, since he closed fast on opposing wide receivers and tight ends and even shoved them around to throw off their routes. Even with his size, Scoby has long arms to make swats and become a quality cover man. However, it's his big plays on offense that's generating buzz for him. He can run around and through defenders.
More on Scoby: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/381746/kurt-scoby
KISHAWN HOLMES, VISTA MURRIETA
Offers: One (Oklahoma State)
Interested schools: Took unofficial visit to UCLA.
Holmes has been labeled a Barry Sanders-type running back and on the field, it does show. Holmes spins and jukes past defenders, then turns on the afterburners for the long run. He does tend to go down with one good shoulder pop, but Holmes is slippery with the ball in his hands. He's also a destructive pass blocker who buries his shoulder like a safety closing on the football. Looks like he's next in line at a school who just produced USC commit and mammoth safety Su'a Cravens.
More on Holmes: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1698317/highlights
THAI COTTRELL, OCEANSIDE
Offers: One (Western New Mexico)
Cottrell, who's considered a scat back and wide receiver, does damage with both positions. As a slot receiver, he's got an explosive get-off after the snap and, in three seconds, has his defenders turning their hips and playing catch-up with him. He's most dangerous in the fly sweep, with his ability to quickly locate a hole then burn through it. Like Holmes, he's another ball carrier with an array of juke moves. He reportedly runs a 4.62 40-yard dash time. After watching his film, though, he runs as if his 40 time is in the 4.3 range.
More on Cottrell: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/748160/thai-cottrell
KENDALL BROWNLOW, LOS ALAMITOS
Interested schools: Mid-majors and Football Championship Subdivision programs have sent letters.
Brownlow is another ankle-breaking, cat-quick back who turned heads at the Passing Down tournaments with his ability to change direction, then take off running. His vision and patience with running behind his blockers also scored points for me. Lastly, even at 165-pounds, he can run through defenders too.
More on Brownlow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpzm1_bVeLA