Intro

3-6-9, damn RB you fine
Hoping he can drop to me one more time
Get low, get low (get low), get low (get low), get low (get low)
To the queue (to the queue), to the pick (to the pick)
‘Til you make it around the turn (the turn)
‘Til all these RBs fall

Welcome back to part two of the devy freshmen dart throws! I will be highlighting freshmen running back dart throws that are falling in drafts. I am personally taking these values in my drafts. The following freshmen have landed a premium opportunity in their commitment decisions. We will be looking at players outside of the top 10 247composite and players not going to the top programs, such as USC, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. Last season only five true freshmen running backs eclipsed the 800-yard rushing mark. All of these incoming freshmen are committing to a premium opportunity. If these future prospects can touch the field early, it will be hard for coaches to take them out.

(Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Ramon Brown

  • Commit: Maryland
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Rank: RB19
  • HT/WT: 5’11” / 202lbs

Maryland is not known for its rushing prowess. However, they’ve never had a talent like Brown. He ran a 4.53 40 during 2019 and is overall oozing with athletic talent, and the best part is that the tape matches. Quick feet, great vision, elusive behind the line and in the secondary. He’s active with his stiff arms and has the frame to add strength and get to that NFL size. Maryland, please don’t mess this up. You have someone special here. He could easily take over this backfield, and their top rusher Tayon Fleet-Davis declared for the 2022 draft. The highest returning rusher on the team is Colby McDonald, who saw a whopping 60 rushing attempts. As soon as he committed, Brown was the most talented back in that backfield. I look forward to him being inside the top-5 RBs in the class after the freshmen season.

Photo by Rivals.com

Quinshon Judkins

  • Commit: Ole Miss
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Rank: RB40
  • HT/WT: 5’11” / 200lbs

Judkins had an impressively long list of offers from top programs. Ole Miss lost every passing option but saw a trio of transfers with high-profile producing players. Judkins will run behind a top talent in Zachary Evans, but the wide receiver corps situation could lead to a two-headed rushing attack. Evans limits Judkin’s upside this year, but I expect Judkins to get 100 opportunities. If Evans misses time or opts out for the draft next year, Judkins could dominate the end of the season. Judkins exhibits a great blend of size and speed. He shows a quick burst and gets to top gear fast. He has excellent vision and does not waste time to beat defenders to the line when the line can not open a hole. Judkins might be a one-cut runner and did not exhibit the ability to continuously make defenders miss. Judkins lined up in the slot and out wide while playing in high school. Versatile skill set, athletic, has the frame to be an all-purpose back but a one-cut runner. Evans is causing Judkins to be an under-the-radar freshman, but C2C will soon raise his stock. 
Edit: Ulysses Bentley conveniently transferred in from SMU right before the publishing of this article. Bentley found himself splitting the back field as the 2021 season went on at SMU and found a lot of success against G5 competition. The situation at Ole Miss could, and probably will, turn into another split backfield. Bentley does not possess NFL size and was hampered by injuries last season. Judkins is the better back but the opportunities will be more limited as well as the collegiate production and NFL upside.

Tavorus Jones

  • Commit: Mizzou
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Rank: RB13
  • HT/WT: 5’11” / 195lbs

Mizzou running back Tyler Badie capped off the year with the highest dominator in college at the RB position. Elijah Young received the bulk of the carries following Tyler Badie’s opt-out. Young is far from solidifying the lead role but finished nicely with a 13-85-0 line in the bowl game against Army. Tavorus Jones barely has the bigger size and frame but has room to grow. Jones has fantastic receiving ability like his predecessor. In high school, he averaged ten ypc over his junior and senior seasons. Jones does not show great contact power or balance that one would want from a three-down back. The level of competition he played against, he would win with just speed. Jones looks like a carbon copy of Badie to me, which is fine for a college producer, and not great for devy reasons. He’s young with time to build onto his frame and become a three-down back come NFL draft. Bonus: he makes a funny face in 65% of pictures taken.

Antonio Martin

  • Commit: Georgia Tech
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Rank: RB28
  • HT/WT: 5’11” / 205lbs

Georgia Tech loses Jahmyr Gibbs to the transfer portal, leaving the starting position available. George Tech also loses Terron Kellmen because of a decommitment, and Jordan Mason declared for the draft. This backfield is currently depleted. Hassan Hall transfers from Louisville after four years of never crossing the 500-yard rushing mark. Antonio Martin is listed at 5’11” and 205 lbs. and received offers from high-profile programs such as Alabama, Michigan, and Kentucky. I was not overly impressed with the tape, but I will take him over a fifth-year non-producer. I thought he demonstrated decent patience and vision, but he has room to improve in the athletic category. Martin is a dart throw I’m willing to make with 230 vacant touches. I am encouraged by his offers, and I’m taking a ‘why not’ approach.

Photo courtesy of Porter Medium

Arlen Harris Jr.

  • Commit: Stanford
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Rank: RB27
  • HT/WT: 5’11” / 190lbs

Stanford’s most recent starting RB, Austin Jones, was disappointing and transferred out. Stanford has successfully developed top talents in Christian McCaffrey, Bryce Love, and now it’s on to the next project. Stanford lacks a standout RB for the upcoming season but still has a mix of guys sticking around. This will most likely be an RB by committee. Harris had an impressive list of offers from schools such as Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Michigan, and Penn State. Harris played RB and safety during his junior year in high school and has played on the varsity team since he was a freshman. His tape includes running between the tackles, active off-hand stiff-arming DBs, and decent lateral agility. He exhibits decent vision and patience as well. Harris also has the build and frame to continue to add more muscle and strength to reach that NFL size. Because of Stanford’s reputation and Harris’ offer list, Harris makes this list. I am not overly excited.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Allen’s Twitter

Michael Allen II

  • Commit: NC State
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Rank: RB23
  • HT/WT: 5’9″ / 203lbs

NC State’s Zonovan “Bam” Knight leaves for the NFL draft leaving a whole open for a new leading rusher in an underrated productive offense. Fifth-year RB Ricky Pearson is next up to take the reigns, but his production profile is underwhelming. NC State is not known as a system that uses one back, but the talent currently on the roster is disappointing. Allen joins an ACC team where he has the opportunity to touch the field early. He has legit speed with a verified 4.48 40 coming out of high school. Allen has quick feet. However, I fear that he may be a straight-line runner with burners. He has extra weight to convert to muscle, and we could see an immediate impact from NC State’s off-season strength and conditioning program. There was not much evidence of lateral agility, and the athletic traits are there. Maybe some coaching can help develop this talent. 

Outro

This wraps up freshmen running back dart throws. Some are situational-based, some are talent-based, and some are both situation and talent. These incoming freshmen become great late-round targets if they….get low… enough in your drafts. Do you want to win? Go ahead and grab yourself some Brown and Judkins. Feeling spicy? Grab some Martin and sprinkle in some Jones. Feeling like a Star Wars stormtrooper? Get some Harris or Allen II. 

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