July 29, 2008

RB Alford hoping stock soars

By this point in the recruiting process a lot of prospects know what they're going to be able to expect from schools. For running back Jelani Alford, the process may have just started.

As a junior the all-purpose back from Cincinnati (Oh.) Withrow had limited time, recording only about four carries per game. His coach James Burks believes with increased production and film his stock may be ready to soar.

"I've talked to different people and because Jelani was in a limited role as a junior, after the first three or four games we're going to get his film out," Burks explained. "It should definitely raise his stock.

"He's very, very fast and he's approaching 300 pounds on the bench press also. He's not just fast, he's extremely strong, and he's a lot faster on the football field than he is on the track."

Alford was recently named track runner of the year for Cincinnati public schools and placed first in the district's 100 and 200 meters.

His coach said that Alford has done a lot to quiet concerns over his size. The 5-foot-9 back is reportedly up to about 178 pounds and is working hard in the weight room to continue to put on muscle.

"He likes the fact that Nebraska offered early and reconfirmed what we thought," Burks continued. "He can play at that level. He does realize that with his limited film and the questions about his size, schools might want to wait and see.

"He's been hearing a lot from West Virginia. He's been hearing a lot from Michigan, Maryland and NC State. There's a lot of interest. He only averaged four carries a game and his film is just amazing. If you get him up to 24 carries a game I don't know what kind of film he'll have.

"He's going to deserve everything he gets because he works hard. In practice he works really, really hard. You don't see that a lot with the so-called best players on the team."

Burks said Alford is now up to five offers. He does not appear to be on the verge of making a decision, as he will likely wait for feedback on the film he sends out this fall.

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