The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country to come up with the most extensive and accurate prospect rankings and evaluations you will find. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.
We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and rank the top five in each. Today we break down the running backs. Which running back is the top home-run threat? Which is the best inside runner? Which is the best in space? Read on to find out.
Jeremy Crabtree's take: To me, there is not a more complete back that can hurt you on every single play like Darrell Scott. Just when you think you have him bottled up – bam – he's gone. I also think McGuffie definitely is a threat to score on every play. Curtis is another one that can kill you in the blink of an eye. A very good group here.
Mike Farrell's take: There aren't as many pure speed backs in this year's crop as there was last year but the guys who can take it to the house are bigger overall and can do so inside or outside.
JC Shurburtt's take: Overall a very explosive group that can take it to the house quickly.
Crabtree's take: This is why I love Darrell Scott. He's not a guy that will bounce it to the outside every play. He knows how to run through the middle and bounce off contact. In Katy's offense you must run inside, and that's why Aundre Dean is one of the best in the nation at it. Jonas Gray is also a great threat between the tackles. He has the jets that so few backs do, but when you watch him you see that he makes a lot of big runs between the tackles.
Farrell's take: For Scott to be the top homerun threat and inside runner shows exactly how special he is. There are some big, physical runners in this group.
Shurburtt's take: I like to look for guys who are tough between the tackles for this area and most of these guys are, though I question if Darrell Scott actually is better than some of the other guys when you are just considering inside running.
Crabtree's take: The video of McGuffie breaking people down in the open field is almost legendary, and he's without question the best in this group in my opinion. Milton Knox out in LA is also very good at this, and that's something he thrives on. Get him one-on-one and you'll often lose.
Farrell's take: Compared to last year's ankle breakers, this year's group is better in traffic overall but McGuffie can sure make some defenders look foolish.
Shurburtt's take: Overall, I like Ryan Williams in space better than any of the backs listed.
Crabtree's take: When it comes to planting the foot and taking off, there isn't a better guy in the nation than Jermie Calhoun in my view. This is what he's best at. Gray can also plant and go with the best of them and when he turns on the jets, look out. Cyrus Gray is amazing at this, too. I think he's one of the most overlooked backs in the nation.
Farrell's take: This is the best group of "one-cut and go" guys in a few years. Once these guys see daylight and cut it back, they are very hard to bring down.
Shurburtt's take: Very strong overall group in terms of this category.