Texas recruiting 2015: Assessing running back needs/targets

Jordan Stevenson - Student Sports

Looking at 2015 recruiting for the Longhorns position by position.

Assessing the quarterback needs/targets

Running back

Needs: Two

Commits

  • Jordan Stevenson, South Oak Cliff
Offers
  • Soso Jamabo, Plano West
  • Rodney Anderson, Katy (Texas A&M commit)
  • Jay Bradford, Splendora (Texas A&M commit)
  • Chris Warren, Rockwall
  • JaMycal Hasty, Longview

There are two very different directions the Longhorns could go here are the position -- an all-purpose back to replace Daje Johnson, assuming that the staff feels like Jacorey Warrick and Roderick Bernard can't fill that role until the 2016 cycle or quite possibly a larger back like Jamabo (6'3) or Warren (6'2).

Texas isn't going to get Hasty unless Tommie Robinson puts in some really credible work there and Jamabo doesn't list the Horns as among his favorites any more.

Unfortunately, the Horns may also have some ground to gain back with Jamabo, the consensus five-star prospect who recently said that his top schools are Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Jamabo was though to be a Texas lean early in the process, so he should be at the top of the list for prospects with whom Robinson wants to build a relationship.

There are some other targets on the radar, including McKinney North's Ronald Jones, and this class is so deep at running back, like ridiculously deep, that Texas will have plenty of options. Landing the speedy Stevenson is a good start, as he's a better pure running back than Bradford, who certainly has the speed, but doesn't seem to translate it to spectacular results on the field.

The best asset for Stevenson is that speed -- he ran a 4.37 40 time at the Dallas Nike Camp last April, a mark that tied with five-star cornerback Tony Brown of Beaumont (Texas) Ozen and North Little Rock (Arkansas) cornerback Kavin Alexander. It clearly transfers to pads, where Stevenson is a home-run threat every time he touches the ball.

At this size, he's probably not a load back in college and he doesn't project as someone who is going to pick up yards after contact by moving the pile, so it's a major positive that he has impressive open-field moves, including a spin move that may or not translate and some serious shake that has a better chance to show up on the field for the Longhorns in the future.

When there are creases, Stevenson does a good job of getting north-south quickly and outrunning defenders, but he also has the vision to find cutback lanes and the patience to let blocks develop before he bounces runs outside, something he does well because his speed is as good laterally as it is in a straight line.

Keeping Stevenson committed ensures that the Horns don't miss on as many of their top targets at running back in 2015 as they did at defensive back in 2014 and at the moment there aren't any concerns about that.

Add Jamabo to the class and it would be a home-run duo for the Longhorns.

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