Position: Running back

Javion Hunt

Scouting Report: (5/27/2020) As I write this scouting report, Javion Hunt is one of the most underrated players in the 2021 class. He has a natural running talent and an elusive style that you simply can’t coach. He has good speed, but he is more sudden and quick than top-end fast.

Javion is quick to see the cracks of daylight and pick and dart his way in and out of traffic. He also has an excellent feeling for setting up defenders in the second level. His stop-start ability to freeze defenders is at a premium level. He can make a defender miss quickly in a hole and bounce outside without gearing down much.

Javion is not a power back but can push the pile and break tackles with his quick twitched body movements and his ability to avoid direct hits. He consistently slips out of would-be tacklers and has enough wiggle to make people miss in space.

Overall, Javion is a strong, durable running back with speed to be a playmaker at the next level. I also like his tough mentality as he plays linebacker on defense.

Amariyon Howard

Amariyon Howard is a big physical back with a strong, well-built frame that still has room to add bulk. He is a decisive runner who looks for downhill crease and attacks it with urgency. He sees the hole and hits it without wasted cuts and runs without hesitation.

Howard has an explosive burst to get through tight creases of traffic and has good quickness to the outside when running off-tackle. He is quick to gain downhill momentum and flashes good pop on contact and runs with good leverage. Upon contact, he keeps his legs driving when wrapped up and will run through first and second contact as he pushes the pile forward.

He possesses good in-line running skills and is quick to find the hole and get north but also displays good patience in following his blocks when needed. He is a physical back who will not shy away from contact and likes to deliver the blow. A true pile pusher that can get quality yards after contact and attacks the hole with authority.

At this point in his career, he is less of a homerun threat and more of a reliable back that can consistently move the chains and carry the load that should fit well in Mike Leach’s system.

Elijah Howard

Listen to Elijah Howard Interview

 

Scouting Report: (3/13/2020) Elijah Howard is the type running back that Jim Chaney loves. He will need to add size and strength but has a frame that will see huge growths after a year inside a college strength and conditioning program. While I think a redshirt year would be huge for Elijah, he has some of the better play-speed we have seen in this class.

Elijah has elite vision and sees daylight well in tight spaces. He has the foot speed to get through tight seams and runs decisively when a hole is present. He has the patience to bounce and stretch or pick and slide in-line.

His burst and acceleration are at an elite level. Elijah will stick his foot in the ground and split defenders up the seam going from 0-60 in a hurry. He is a sudden cutter in-line and can get around the corner on perimeter runs. He is an ankle breaker in the open field and has the change of speed ability to outrun pursuing DB’s without flashy elusiveness.

Elijah is not built real powerfully at this point but is quick-twitched and explosive on contact which allows him to break arm tackles. He uses leverage well and bounces off a lot of initial contact and has a style that makes it difficult for opponents to get a direct shot on him.

Bottom line is that Elijah is a playmaker with all the tools to excel at the next level. If he makes the gains in the weight room I expect, Chaney will use him much like he used D’Andre Swift while he was at UGA.

Armoni Goodwin

Scouting Report (3/1/2): Armoni Goodwin is a decisive, downhill runner when a seam is present but still shows good patience following his blocks and stretching the ball outside when needed. Excels at getting through tight in-line creases and shows good feet in the hole. Armoni will bounce out of the pile to daylight but typically stays square and keeps downhill momentum. He has a decisive style that translates well to the college level.

Armoni has a naturally low center of gravity that allows him to bounce off arm tackles and retain his balance. He has some power to his frame, and he can absorb a hit and maintain his forward progress.

Armoni can be an every-down back who will get some difficult yards after contact with strength and also create big runs with his speed and quickness. His blend of size, speed and power makes him versatile enough to fit into different schemes and move the chains consistently.

Jo’Quavious Marks

Scouting Report: (7/15/2019) Jo’Quavious Marks is an adequate sized running back with a tightly-wound, quick-twitch frame that allows him to play bigger. He is quick and sudden but also faster than his 40-time would indicate.

Jo’Quavious has excellent vision and runs with his eyes. He is a very instinctive runner with a natural feel for the cutback. He runs with patience and lets blocks develop and is capable of getting through tight closing seams. He is shifty with a wiggle in tight spaces and is difficult to line up for a direct hit. He is best sticking his foot in the ground and getting upfield where he shows a good acceleration in the second level.

Jo’Quavious is not a pile pusher, but he is a tough, scrappy runner who doesn’t go down easily. He twists and churns on contact and will pop out of arm wraps and make quality yards after contact. Despite not being a power back, he has succeeded in the red zone because he runs with a lower base and possesses an excellent balance.

Jo’Quavious is a running back prospect who can continue to rise up our rankings. He is a very natural runner who finds the cutback lanes and displays a feel for reading flow and linebacker angles. He will need to add size to hold up as an every-down back on the collegiate level. If he can gain muscle without losing speed, his hands out of the backfield and big-play ability should translate well at the next level.

Torrance Davis

Scouting Report: (6/22/2019) Torrance Davis is an immensely talented running back and right now the most underrated player at his position. He has an elite blend of size, power, quickness and graceful elusiveness. Torrance is a strong, sturdy, well-built runner with a lower center of gravity and has excellent overall athleticism and versatility.

I don’t like comparing recruits to elite NFL players, but you can’t help be reminded of Todd Gurley when he was at Tarboro High School when you watch his film.

Torrance shows impressive initial burst and explodes through the line of scrimmage when he finds the right crease and shows the ability to avoid penetration in the backfield. He can bounce the run outside on the second level and he will run away from defenders in daylight. He doesn’t just run hard but runs with elite power. Torrance shows good patience and reads blocks well and consistently breaks arm tackles and bounces off contact when he gains momentum.

Torrance is not only a gifted runner but equally dangerous in the passing game. He is a mismatch one-on-one due to size/speed, range, and ball skills and can win one-on-one against linebackers on speed alone if needed. Considering his measurables, there are few if any running backs in this class who can move as he can with body control and coordination.

He is a great overall athlete and could play several different positions at the power 5 level. However, players with his size and skillset are difficult to find and he has the potential to become an All-Conference or better at the running back position.

 

Elijah Young

Scouting Report: (6/19/2019) Elijah Young is a difficult recruit to project because his exact position is unclear currently. Most of the uncertainty is because he is not overly big or massive at this stage but runs bigger than his stature would indicate.

In my opinion, Elijah will find his role and excel as an all-purpose back. He runs with his eyes, locates the cutback crease quickly and gears down little hitting it.  He has a great feel for the outside stretch play and runs with great patience.

Elijah has game-changing acceleration and speed and can turn the corner and go the distance outrunning second level angles. He flashes the ability to go from 0-60 in a hurry allowing him to exploit small creases for big gainers. Perhaps his most impressive skill is his ability to change direction without losing speed while cutting laterally making it difficult for defenders to seal the edge and get a clean shot.

Elijah does need to gain muscle so that he can generate the power and downhill momentum needed in the SEC. Right now he is strong and scrappy which allows him to break the first contact but not a pile mover and he can go down on arm tackles at times.

Despite the need for more mass, Elijah is a big-play back with some of the best speed and elusiveness in this class. Lack of every-down attributes and durability concerns diminishes his stock some but he should develop into a highly productive all-purpose back at the college level and a potent weapon if used creatively in a spread.

There is talk that Elijah has increased his weight to 185 lbs and he does look visibly larger in his most recent photos. As weight is his one downfall at this point, I am moving him from 3-star to 4-star and project he will have a monster senior season.

MarShawn Lloyd

Scouting Report: (6/14/2019) MarShawn is a strong, sturdy, well-built runner with a lower center of gravity. He is one of the more complete and well-rounded backs in this class and has a college-ready decisive style that should make him able to contribute immediately at South Carolina.

Lloyd displays very good vision, both in-line to find the cutback and outside to bounce the stretch play. He has the ability to get through tight creases for big gainers. He is a well-balanced runner who gets low behind his pads and is very difficult to knock off his feet. He consistently breaks arm tackles and bounces off contact when he gains momentum. He is a back who looks to get North and find the downhill crease without a lot of wasted cuts.

The Gamecocks have not had a 1000-yard rusher since 2013. Marshawn could break that streak within his first two seasons. He is not a guy that will give you many 70-yard runs but is more likely to give you two 35-yard runs in the second half.

MarShawn reminds me of former Alabama running back Damien Harris,