Why Running Back Is Deepest Position in 2014 College Football Recruiting Class

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJune 19, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

The recruiting class of 2014 is as talented as it is deep, but there is no position more impressive than running back.

The No. 1 player (247Sports Composite) is a running back, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Leonard Fournette, a 5-star recruit from Saint Augustine High School in New Orleans, La., has superstar potential, but you could go deep into the running back rankings and still find a player who could be a featured back at the college level.

Including fullbacks and all-purpose backs, here's Bleacher Report's 2014 running-back power rankings.

Fournette is in a class by himself. He's 6'0'' and 225 pounds, so he can be a true power back, but he has the speed of a natural scatback. He can punch it between the tackles in short yardage situations, but also stretch a run outside, make a few defenders miss and outrun the rest to the end zone.

He's the perfect blend of speed and power. For a comparison, think of a young Adrian Peterson.

Behind Fournette, though, there are about seven running backs who should be considered tied for second.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, 5-star running back and Georgia commitment Sony Michel is ranked No. 2, but Joseph Yearby (Miami), Dalvin Cook (Florida), Jalen Hurd (Tennessee), Nick Chubb (Georgia) and uncommitted recruits Racean Thomas and Joe Mixon  could all fill that spot admirably. 

Yearby, Cook, Hurd and Thomas are 5-star recruits, according to the 247Sports Composite. Mixon and Chubb could easily gain that fifth star with productive senior seasons.

Thomas, in particular, could be a standout. His juke moves are straight out of a video game. Alabama and Auburn are atop his  247Sports interest list.

Hurd, a Tennessee commitment, also has superstar potential. He's as big as a linebacker at 6'3'', 230 pounds, but he runs with the speed of an elite running back. Much like Fournette, he'll be able to play power football, but also flip it into second gear and run past defenders.

The "second tier" of running backs features players such as Oklahoma State commit Devon Thomas, Texas commit Donald Catalon, Oklahoma commit Samaje Perine and Auburn commit Kamryn Pettway, among others. They aren't star recruits, but they're talented enough to receive offers from these big-time college football programs.

At the very least, all these running backs have what it takes to be productive. Pettway, a 3-star recruit, is the No. 24 back in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite, which demonstrates this position group's amazing depth.

They all have incredible potential.

At a position that's becoming devalued because of injury, platoons and pass-happy offenses, the class of 2014 looks poised to put the focus back on the star running back.


Note: All analysis and scouting done by tape study of film on recruit's respective 247Sports profile pages. Star rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite.

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