In My Opinion

Quality running backs have big shoes to fill this year


Coming off a season where Joseph Yearby, Sony Michel and Dalvin Cook grabbed national headlines, asking for a repeat from the Class of 2015 may be a bit too much to ask for.

When you have a deep group of running backs, lake like last year, it would be asking too much for there to be nationally-rated prospects once again this season. But we are in south Florida where the talent continues to run deep.

If we have learned one thing from this off season, it’s that big time talent continues to emerge every week — and while the preseason hype nationally may not be what it was last season, there are quality backs who have already left a huge mark.

When you have impressive prospects such as current FAU commit Jordan Scarlett (5-11, 195, St. Thomas Aquinas), University of Miami verbal Jordan Cronkite (5-11, 190, Westminster Christian), gifted Miramar standout Alex Anderson (5-11, 190) and Taj McGowan (6-0, 190, Hallandale), you have a group of runners who are on the verge of breaking out.

“There is no doubt in my mind that a back like Anderson has the opportunity to be among the best in the country,” first year Miramar coach Matt Strout said. “This a football talent that a lot of people really don’t know about, but they will.”

If Anderson is among the players under the radar, defending Broward County rushing champion Travis Liburd is really suffering from the lack of exposure. Devoting much of his off season to getting bigger and stronger, the 5-9, 190-pound Piper speedster made a believer out of first year coach Roger Mitchell, who talked about this quality back when he first got the job last spring.

“It really amazes me how you can lead the county in rushing the way Travis did and not receive the attention,” Mitchell said. “This is a quality back who will get the attention this year.”

South Florida has always been deep with quality talent In addition to Scarlett, Cronkite, Anderson, McGowan and Liburd, there are heavily recruited players such as Michael Frederick (5-10 175, Champagnat Catholic), Deltron Sands (5-8, 175, St. Thomas Aquinas), Johnnie Hankins (5-10, 190, South Dade), Jawanza Evans-Morris (5-8, 175, Taravella) and Western’s Brayon Parrish (5-11, 190).

“Having covered football down here for several decades, there are never a shortage of outstanding backs,” said Dana Wiley of Prep Films. “Plus, you look at the rising juniors and sophomores and you will see that this talent train doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.”

Read more Recruiting stories from the Miami Herald

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