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July 5, 2012
Southern California Running Back Watchlist Part One
Lavon Coleman, Lompoc Sr.6.)
It isn't often you find top-flight high school football prospects from the sleepy town of Lompoc in the Central Coast, but it's funny what a 2,000-yard season will do for you. Coleman is finding that out, after leading the Braves to an undefeated season during his 2,038-yard junior campaign. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound running back is well-built and durable; he carried the rock 295 times last season. Coleman doesn't have much left to prove at the high school level, but another undefeated season would put the cherry on top of his illustrious career. He's verbally committed to Washington, spurning offers from Cal, Arizona and UCLA.
7.) Pierre Cormier, Madison Sr.
The Warhawks tore through the San Diego Section, and Cormier was a big reason why. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound back will definitely need to add strength to his lanky frame, but he's got good speed and excellent elusiveness in the open field. Cormier rushed for 1,471 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, yet seemed to wear down during the stretch run, where he averaged 5.3 yards per carry, well under the 8.26 he averaged during the season. Cormier will have to prove he can stay healthy for a full season, and that playing a lesser level of competition in high school won't matter at the collegiate level. So far, the colleges believe; Boise State, Oregon State and UCLA have all offered.
8.) Zachary Green, St. Bonaventure Sr.
Last season, Green formed the backend of an excellent 1-2 punch with fellow running back Shaun Wick. With Wick gone, the Seraphs will turn to Green to be the bell cow in the running game. Green's got the physicality to excel as a feature back, as his 5-foot-9, 210-pound frame dishes out more of a punishing than he usually takes. Green isn't the shiftiest running back you'll see, but his ability to run through arm tackles and wear down defenses in the second half is a trait not many high school running backs have.
9.) DaVonte Young, St. John Bosco Sr.
Young has been through the ringer as far as schools go, going from Irvine to Tustin before finally landing at St. John Bosco. Playing for the Trinity League certainly has its advantages, as scouts and media flock to those games more than any other in Southern California. That attention has helped Young, who is generously listed at 5-foot-8, 190 pounds. Young doesn't have great timed speed, but he's tough-nosed and has good vision for the running back position. Arizona has reportedly offered Young, who will be looking for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season in 2012.
10.) Gerard Wicks, Long Beach Poly Sr.
Like a lot of Long Beach Poly prospects these days, Wicks is well-coached and does everything well, if not at an elite level. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound back has decent size for the running back position, with the frame to add weight. He's also got a bit of wiggle to him, and is capable of breaking long runs. The problem is that he lacks superb long speed, and isn't the type of physical, workhorse back that can run through the tackles. He'll need to be creatively used at the next level, but Washington State and new head coach Mike Leach could be a very good fit for the Jackrabbits' top offensive threat.
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