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February 29, 2012

Running backs - the top six stand out - but there's more

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We come to the close of the month of February and break down the top running backs in the state of Florida for the class of 2013. A plethora of athletes are at tailback, running back and some of them were listed earlier as 'athletes'. That only means their contribution on the field is more than just a ball carrier. These are our top five (or so) 'ball carriers' - the go-to guys who get it done. Obviously, we can go on and on with this list - but had to start somewhere.

Top 2013 Running Backs

Greg Bryant
Running Back
5-foot-11 |200 | American Heritage (Delray Beach)
Buzz: Bryant is the top-ranked running back from Florida in the Rivals100 - checking in at No. 23. His size is deceiving as he is a big back that hits the hole straight and has great second-step speed. His outside speed also gives him that added burst. Bryant ran for 243 yards on 39 carries against Madison County in the 3A state title game. He finished his junior season with over 1800 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns.Nee's Notes: (Rivals.com Florida recruiting analyst Chris Nee) "He has a deceptive amount of wiggle and quick feet that allow him to side-step and evade defenders but his best ability is to make something happen between the tackles before breaking to the outside". Oddly enough, Bryant has not been offered by the University of Miami - as of yet.
Schools in the mix:Penn State, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, LSU, Michigan State (29 total offers)
Click here to watch video of Greg Bryant
Ryan Green
Running Back
5-foot-10 |195 | St. Petersburg Catholic
Buzz: Green is the featured back from the Tampa Bay area and will get plenty of exposure in the run-first offense of the Barons. Ranked no. 90 in the Rivals100, Green has already attracted national attention with is recent camp and combine performances. Can the durable athlete handle the pounding as a premier tail back in college - is the main question. Green carried the ball 125 times for 1069 yards and 14 scores last year. Green is also the reigning 100 meters champion in Florida. Rivals.com breakdown: "A darting, lightning quick home run threat with exceptional acceleration. Glides in and out of cuts with outstanding lateral bounce and pop-out-of-a-crowd speed. An economical, low-to-the-ground runner with rapid-fire footwork and a great nose for a direct line to the end zone after using the width of the field to buy himself space."
Schools in the mix: Arkansas, Florida State, Central Florida, Florida, Kentucky (21 total)
Click here to watch video of Ryan Green
Kelvin Taylor
Running back
5-foot-10|190 | Glades Day (Belle Glade)
Buzz: Taylor verbally committed to Florida at Junior Days - which shocks no one. His father, Fred Taylor, starred for Steve Spurrier and went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL for the Jaguars and Patriots. Taylor burst on the scene as an eighth grader at Glades Day and despite a knee injury his sophomore year, he's the all-time leading rusher in Florida high school history - with one season to go. Checking in at No. 111 in the Rivals250, he is a strong north-south runner between the tackles.
Schools in the mix:Verbally committed to Florida (February, 2012)
Click here to watch video of Kelvin Taylor
A.J. Turman
Running back
6-foot-0 |197 | Boone (Orlando)
Buzz Turman is one that can't be left off any list. Ranked No. 133 in the Rivals250, he is one of the best running backs to come out of Central Florida in a while - and that's saying something. Teammate Marvin Bracy was the star last year, but Turman had his days in the spotlight and looks to lead the Braves this year offensively.
Schools in the mix: Boston College, Tennessee, Central Florida, Vanderbilt, Auburn (17 total)
Click here to watch video of A.J. Turman
Alex Collins
Running back
5-foot-11| 180 | South Plantation (Plantation)
Buzz: Collins has garnered national attention - ranking No. 147 in the Rivals250, Collins will be the featured back for the Paladins - who will challenge for another playoff run. He's got the speed, the size and the agility to play on the next level - and may be the prototypical UM running back.
Schools in the mix:Verbally committed to the University of Miami (January, 2012)
Click here for video of Alex Collins
Tarean Folston
Running back
5-foot-11 |185 | Cocoa
Buzz: Folston, like Taylor, has been around for a while. Having played in two state championship games in three years - and played a national schedule with Cocoa last year - the No. 174 player ranked in the Rivals250, became the premier back for Cocoa a couple of games early - when former team mate Chevelle Buie was suspended for the final two games of the 2010 season. Folston led the Tigers to wins at Madison County and over Glades Central in the 2A title game - which established him as an up-and-comer. A two-way player for the Tigers, he's the heart of Cocoa's offense for 2012. Once again the Tigers will play a 'national' schedule - with games against St. Joseph's Prep (PA) and Bergen Catholic (NJ).
Schools in the mix:Wake Forest, Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati, Boston College (9 total)
Click here to watch video of Tarean Folston

Others in the mix:

Daryl Chestnut, Miami Columbus
Adam Lane, Winter Haven
Lorenzo Woodley, Miami Columbus
Jamari Smith, Neptune Beach Fletcher
Micah Reed, Crestview
JoJo Kemp, Deland
Fred Coppet, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
T.J. Johnson, Cape Coral Island Coast
Levonte Whitfield, Orlando Jones
Bo Ellis, Miami Gulliver Prep
John Armstrong, Orlando Olympia
Lexus Walton, Jacksonville Wolfson
Robert Davis, Tampa Carrollwood Day
Tommie Young, Greenville Madison County
Matt Dayes, Weston Cypress Bay
Marcus Levy, Fort Pierce Central
Marcus Dixon, Daytona Warner Christian
Stafon McCray, Kissimmee Osceola
Cole Mazza, Ponte Vedra
Raphael Webb, Gainesville
Eric Harrell, Orlando Dr. Phillips
Xavier Johnson, Tampa Chamberlain
David Emmanuel, Dade City Pasco

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