Five thoughts on the 2023 running backs

Highschool seasons are about midway executed – or extra – so it is a good time to try some issues taking place throughout the nation. Immediately, Rivals nationwide recruiting director Adam Gorney offers 5 ideas on the 2023 operating backs.

MORE: Five thoughts on the 2023 QBs


CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100

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Nobody has the No. 1 spot locked up, as Rueben Owens leads the all-purpose backs and Justice Haynes tops the operating again rankings, however numerous selections nonetheless should be made following senior seasons and particularly all-star video games.

Owens and Haynes are having very sturdy seasons to this point, however let’s give credit score the place it is due as a result of so are USC commit Quinten Joyner and Texas pledge Cedric Baxter, who’s already over 1,000 yards and is pacing towards a 2,000-yard season.

Statistics are just one consideration with operating again rankings as a result of a few of these gamers have very weak offensive strains or play in programs the place they’re not getting the ball as usually as others. That’s positively one thing to think about and why all-star performances are so essential to get an actual apples-to-apples comparability on these guys.



Rivals rankings are primarily based off anticipated school efficiency and in addition projected NFL Draft place, in order that has to play an element once we take a look at the operating again spot.

Latest historical past is simply not on the aspect of creating operating backs five-stars since during the last 5 drafts there have been solely six first-round draft picks, most of them coming towards the tail finish of the primary spherical.

Najee Harris was a famous person in highschool, a famous person at Alabama and he was a decide later within the first spherical. Solely Saquon Barkley is an outlier as he was the second decide within the 2018 draft and has already missed important NFL time due to accidents, though he’s nonetheless a particular expertise.

Over the previous couple of years, we’ve made a acutely aware effort to not fully withhold five-star rankings from operating backs however to actually dial it again. It’s been mirrored within the 2022 class and even earlier than as that all-purpose participant – somebody who not solely can run between the tackles but in addition catch passes out of the backfield – may even present extra worth.



Roderick Robinson (Nick Lucero/

There are numerous high-profile gamers at each operating again and all-purpose again which are placing up insane stats this season – and they need to not go unnoticed.

UCLA commit Roderick Robinson, who simply visited Texas A&M and can go to Georgia quickly, has 1,501 yards and 21 touchdowns on 121 carries for his San Diego Lincoln squad. He had an important summer time and it’s carried over in a giant method to his senior 12 months.

Or how about LSU commit Trey Holly, who now holds the Louisiana state file for speeding yards and has 1,177 and 16 TDs to this point? Let’s not overlook Auburn pledge Jeremiah Cobb, who might push larger within the all-purpose rankings with 1,045 yards and 17 speeding scores to associate with 4 receiving TDs.

How about Dante Dowdell, an Oregon commit who’s being pursued by SEC groups? He has totaled 1,074 yards and 13 scores. Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding’s Jamarion Wilcox has 1,077 yards and 12 scores on 109 carries and might be pushing for that fourth star.



Dante Dowdell

Dante Dowdell (Nick Lucero/

Flip season is arising. Issues decelerate drastically through the season when gamers are of their groove, teaching staffs are typically settled and weeks fly by. However the time of the 12 months main into the Early Signing Interval is loopy and there are some names that will probably be on flip watch.

Rueben Owens will probably be one, relying on Louisville coach Scott Satterfield’s job standing and whether or not the El Campo, Texas, standout needs to remain nearer to residence. Proper now, his pledge stays agency.

Roderick Robinson will probably be one other to observe as his Texas A&M go to couldn’t have gone any higher, and he’s additionally visiting Georgia. However UCLA is undefeated, too, and his dedication is powerful there.

Will Dante Dowdell keep on with Oregon even with Ole Miss and others within the SEC combat for him? Miami is coming after Ohio State pledge Mark Fletcher from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage. There are additionally teaching modifications at Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and elsewhere to think about as issues decide up in a number of weeks.



Daylan Smothers

Daylan Smothers

Of the highest 10 operating backs dedicated, 80% are headed out of state.

Justice Haynes and Richard Young are dedicated to Alabama, Quinten Joyner to USC, Cedric Baxter to Texas, Daylan Smothers to Oklahoma, Dante Dowdell to Oregon, Kedrick Reescano to Michigan State and Mark Fletcher to Ohio State.

The one two in-state dedicated prospects within the group are Kaleb Jackson out of Baton Rouge (La.) Liberty Magnet to LSU and Roderick Robinson to UCLA.

With regards to all-purpose backs, the numbers are extra favorable. Treyaun Webb (Florida), Jeremiah Cobb (Auburn), Tre Wisner (Texas), Trey Holly (LSU), Cole Cabana (Michigan), Parker Jenkins (Houston) and Cameron Cook (TCU) all determined to remain native.

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