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Texas Recruiting 2012: Running Back Big Board

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Aledo RB Johnathan Gray is the top Texas 2012 target at his position (photo by the author).
Aledo RB Johnathan Gray is the top Texas 2012 target at his position (photo by the author).

Needs: One or two

Name School JD invite? Offer?

Commitment/ odds


Quick take
Johnathan Gray
Feb. 13
  • Texas
  • TCU
  • Texas A&M
  • Oklahoma
The ESPN RISE National Player of the Year as a junior, Gray put his mark on another state championship game, scoring 8 TDs and racking up 320 yards. Ideal RB build, vision, and feet. Best 100m time of 10.58. Scouting report. Shoulder surgeries after each of last two seasons. Father played RB at Tech.
Trey Williams
Spring Dekaney
Feb. 13 (likely)
No-brainer 60%
  • Texas
  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • Texas A&M
  • Texas Tech
Short, powerfully built back who can break tackles, outrun defensive backs. Would fit well in zone-blocking scheme as more powerful version of Boise State's Jeremy Avery. Greg Davis would have passed because of concerns about bliz pick-up. Could make impact in return game. Video.
Tim Wright
Unlikely 15%
  • Texas
  • Kansas St.
  • LSU
  • Oregon
  • Texas Tech
Another smaller back with power for his size and speed to burn. Experience catching the ball out of the backfield. Some thought that his grades may be a concern.


Other names to know -- Trent Jackson (Cuero), Jonathan Williams (Plano), A&M commit Dennis Smith (Wimberly), Baylor commit Ladarius Anthony (Kilgore)

Overview -- Unless something drastically changes, this class for Texas will be all about Johnathan Gray and Trey Williams, neither of whom is likely to make an early decision, with Williams indicating about a week ago that he may not make a decision until the Army All-American game in 2012. If the Longhorns get a commitment from one of the backs, it will probably shut down recruiting at the position, at least as far as the other top back is concerned. In other words, the thought here is that after the commitment of Malcolm Brown last year, Gray or Williams may be willing to compete with him, but not with each other, too.

The odds look relatively good to land one of Gray/Williams. But what happens if neither one commits? Both could make their decisions too late to be able to effectively pursue another back in the class and the Longhorns probably have to land one. Will there be a back-up plan for 2012? There wasn't with Malcolm Brown and that turned out well, but are the coaches tempting fate by not having one this year?

Wish-y/Watch List

Wish list --

  • Johnathan Gray
  • Trey Williams
  • Trent Jackson

Gray is a no-brainer as the pick here: he's basically the prototype, with the pedigree and production to match his physical skills. There's also a strong chance he's going to be one of the top players in the country in the 2012 class. Williams has better speed and could contribute in the kicking game, but his size keeps him from being the top choice. Jackson is the back-up plan here, even though he was considered a strong A&M lean early, because he's a powerful runner who stays behind his pads and has the speed to break some long runs. If Dennis Smith's commitment can keep Jackson away from the Aggies long enough, he could be in play for Texas if things go poorly with Gray and Williams.