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Recruiting class of 2016 position analysis: Running backs

With National Signing Day less than two months away, partners with to analyze the top players at each position in the recruiting class of 2016.

The race to National Signing Day has begun. Sports Illustrated and have partnered to provide complete coverage of college football recruiting. Over the next two weeks, SI will roll out breakdowns of the top-ranked players at each position. Today, we’re looking at running backs. We've already broken down quarterbacks and wide receivers. Follow along daily with conference-by-conference recruiting shows featuring analysis, breaking news, prospect breakdowns and much more all leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 3.

1. Tavien Feaster

High School: Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C.)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/195 lbs.
National Rank: 26
Status: committed to Clemson scouting report: “Feaster can run. He is a star on the track and he carries that speed over to the football field. He is a back with good size, but he is not known for power, but more of a slasher. Can make the quick cut without losing speed and he is good in the open field. His hands out of the backfield are a real strength of his. He has worked some in the slot. A back who will see early playing time.”

The latest: Feaster has been committed to the Tigers since February. His high school career recently came to a close with a loss in the state playoffs. Feaster finished his senior season with 143 carries for 1,061 yards, 53 receptions for 846 yards and 21 total touchdowns, according to He will not enroll at Clemson until next summer.

2. Kareem Walker

High School: DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/210 lbs.
National Rank: 27
Status: uncommitted scouting report: “Walker runs well between the tackles and is explosive through the hole. He runs with a low center of gravity and is difficult to bring down on first contact. He can get to the edge but needs to improve on finding the hole when the play isn't blocked well in front of him.”

The latest: Walker is expected to make an announcement on his commitment Thursday. Walker’s top five choices are Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Arizona State. Walker had committed to Ohio State in January but decommitted after a visit to Michigan in November. 

3. Miles Sanders

High School: Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/200 lbs. 
National Rank: 30
Status: committed to Penn State scouting report: “Sanders is a special with running back tremendous feel. He sees the play develop in front of him and is patient behind his blockers. His acceleration is superb, as is his creativity and balance. He can make defenders miss in the backfield and in the secondary, and he is elusive in the open field. His instincts in where to cut and his ability to change direction at a high rate of speed are exceptional.”

The latest: Sanders has been committed to Penn State since July of 2014. However, he recently conducted an in-home visit with Pittsburgh coaches and is still considering the Panthers as signing day approaches, according to

4. B.J. Emmons

High School: Freedom (Morgantown, N.C.)
Height/Weight: 5'11"/225 lbs.
National Rank: 39
Status: committed to Alabama scouting report: “Emmons is a back made to play big-boy football. Very good blend of power, speed, quickness, and he has the ability to run between the tackles on the perimeter. Loves to run north-south. Does not do a lot of dancing around before seeing the hole, then hitting the hole with aggression. Can be very hard to tackle one-on-one due to strength, balance, and running style. Definitely a running back who will be ready to play early physically.”

The latest: Emmons has been committed to the Crimson Tide since July. Emmons scored 101 touchdowns during high school, of which 95 came as a runner, according to Emmons ran for over 2,000 yards in his senior season.

5. Demario McCall

High School: North Ridgeville (North Ridgeville, Ohio)
Height/Weight: 5'11"/170 lbs.
National Rank: 78
Status: committed to Ohio State scouting report: N/A

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The latest: McCall has been committed to the Buckeyes since March. He briefly battled a shoulder injury during his senior year of high school.

6. Kameron Martin

High School: Memorial (Port Arthur, Texas)
Height/Weight: 5'10"/175 lbs.
National Rank: 116
Status: committed to Baylor scouting report: “A fun back to watch because he has the speed to make big plays even when the initial reads are not there. He can stop, plant and either find a new hole to squeeze through or bounce it outside and simply out run defenders to the edge. He is blessed to have a combo of good vision and speed. He has the ability to change directions and shift gears seamlessly. He is the perfect spread 'O' runner who’s tough for a defender to get a clean shot on.”

The latest: Martin has been committed to the Bears since July. He finished his high school career with 962 yards and six touchdowns on the ground his senior season. Martin is the cousin of former Texas running back Jamaal Charles, and the Longhorns are still pursuing the running back, according to Bleacher Report.

7. Sean McGrew

High School: St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
Height/Weight: 5'7"/172 lbs.
National Rank: 127
Status: committed to Washington scouting report: “One of the most explosive backs in the West since his sophomore year. Has a great combination of balance, patience and suddenness. Doesn't need a lot of room and once he sees the hole, can explode through it and will not be caught from behind. He's a true home run hitter from anywhere on the field and will likely run in the 10.5-100m range as a junior. Also runs very hard for his size, can break tackles and always finishes falling forward.”

The latest: McGrew has been committed to the Huskies since May. He was recently named the Gatorade player of the year in California. In his senior season, McGrew ran for 1,668 yards and 24 touchdowns, according to the Los Angeles Times.

​8. Devwah Whaley

High School: Central Senior (Beaumont, Texas)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/195 lbs.
National Rank: 146
Status: committed to Georgia scouting report: “Whaley is a talented running back who is a very impressive athlete. Watching him run, he has the fluidity of a defensive back in how he jumps in and out of his cuts and is able to make defenders miss in tight spaces. Some schools early on were even recruiting him as a defensive back. Has a good build with upper and lower body strength. He does have that great hip/feet combo, but he is tough between the tackles and runs with very good power.”

The latest: ESPN reported Whaley committed to Georgia in late November. He chose the Bulldogs over Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M. Whaley will join Elijah Holyfield in the Bulldogs’ backfield, which already features standout runner in Nick Chubb. ​

9. Tony Jones

High School: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Height/Weight: 5'11"/210 lbs. 
National Rank: 154
Status: committed to Notre Dame scouting report: N/A

The latest: Jones has been committed to Notre Dame since March. He was recently selected to compete in the Army All-American game. 

10. George Hill

High School: Hubbard (Hubbard, Ohio)
Height/Weight: 6'0"/200 lbs.
National Rank: 162
Status: uncommitted scouting report: N/A

The latest: Hill will announce his decision on Friday, and Michigan State appears to be in the lead. Hill played with current Spartans running back LJ Scott at Hubbard. Hill also has offers from Nebraska, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio State.