There are certain things about the recruiting process that are from time to time difficult to swallow, chief among them, the eye test and measurables. Ninety percent of the time, how a kid looks and what they run, supercedes what they get done on the field. The college game gets fast and as such, recruiters must go after players that fit the profile. Currently, the top running back in the nation as ranked by Scout.com is Darrell Scott of California. Darrell goes 6-1 weighs 210 pounds and runs a 4.3 forty. FYI, he passes both the eye and measurables test. The running backs in the state of Colorado for the 2008 season are great! Many flirted with the 2,000 yard mark last season and many will have the chance to get close or beyond that number this season, but very few from the group pass the eye or measurables test. It will be interesting to see if what these players accomplish on the field will lead to D1 offers this upcoming season. If not, many 1AA and D2 schools will get some great bargains.
Jesse Lewis of Loveland High School may be the most dangerous player in the state with the ball in his hand. The 5-7 165 pounder scored and gained yards every way imaginable last season while helping to lead Loveland to the 4A title game. Lewis, who shared carries with Daniel Freismuth last year, rushed for 1,199 yards and twelve scores. Along with his exploits as a runner, Lewis caught four touchdown passes and was a constant threat in the return game. This past spring, Lewis was third in the 5A 200 meters with a time of 21.81 and fifth in the 100 meters clocking a 10.75. Although small, Lewis' speed and versatility may be difficult for a savvy program to pass on.
On paper, Bo Bolen of Grandview High School should be sitting on multiple D1 offers. Last season for a 9-2 squad, Bolen rushed for 1,812 yards and eighteen scores. Like Lewis, Bolen is small by D1 standards standing 5-9 and weighing 185 pounds. Unlike Lewis, Bolen does not have elite sprinters speed running the forty in the 4.6 range. Bolen has worked hard this summer and has put his game on display while camping this summer at BYU, Utah, Stanford and Colorado State. A strong senior season could help Bolen to gain that first elusive offer.
Ryan Skogg of Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado fits into the familiar theme of this article. Skogg got it done last year on the field rushing for 1,750 yards, at a nearly eight yard per carry clip, in the very tough 5A Continental League. Although Skogg runs in the 4.4-4.5 range, at 5-10 175 pounds, Skogg has not had Pete Carroll and Charlie Weis sitting on his doorstep. Currently, Skogg is receiving communication from Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas State, Wyoming and Cal but no offers as of now have come.
Possibly the most intriguing player in this mold of small yet effective backs, is Darius Turner of Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. Last season, the 5-11 180 pound Turner rushed for over 1,800 yards and twenty-four touchdowns on the way to 1st Team All-League honors. This past spring, Turner raised his recruiting stock at the Scout.com L.A. combine as he ran 4.47 forty-yard dash. Like the backs previously mentioned in this article Turner has yet to receive a D1 offer.
Here is video of Turner from last season
Breaking the mold of this article because he fits the mold is Jonathan Gaye of Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado. Gaye, who is 6-0 190 and runs a self reported 4.3 forty, currently holds offers from Boise State, Illinois, Wyoming, Air Force and New Mexico State. Along with these offers, Gaye is receiving attention from Minnesota, Kansas State, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State. Last season, in an injury-shortened campaign, Gaye rushed for 275 yards on twelve carries for four TDs. This upcoming season, Gaye will be the feature back in a Mullen offense that has three offensive linemen that are receiving multiple D1 offers. If Gaye can continue to average big chunks of yardage like he did in his limited carries last season, look for numerous new offers to come in this fall.
Here is video of Gaye from last season
This fall should be interesting for all the backs mentioned in this article. For the backs that do not fit the eye and measurable test, if they can once again post big numbers their lack of size or speed may not be so relevant and the elusive first D1 offer may come. For Jonathan Gaye, a big season could bring offers from multiple big time BCS programs. In part two of this series PrepColorado will continue its look at the running back position in the state of Colorado for the class of 2008.