Class of 2015 Running Back Recruiting Targets

With the emergence of Carlos Hyde, the running back has all of a sudden become a major role in Urban Meyer’s offense.  Not that the running backs on previous Meyer Coached teams were not important, but Hyde became the first Meyer coached running back to total the 1,000 yard rushing mark.  Now that does not necessarily mean that the offense is not fit for running backs, but when you have the likes of Jeff Demps, Percy Harvin, and Tim Tebow to all split reps, well rushes can get clustered.  The running back is one of the more important parts of Urban Meyer’s offense now and it was showcased last season by how much we relied on El Guapo.  Below, I take a look at the running backs that I think have a good shot at becoming Buckeyes and take a guess at who I actually think will become Buckeyes.

1. Damien Harris- Berea, Kentucky
Much like Torrance Gibson from last weeks quarterback article, when it comes to running backs in this class, Damien Harris is at the top of the list.  Many, if not all, consider Harris the best running back in the nation.  I have to agree with this, as he is just the complete package when it comes to everything you’re looking for in a running back.  The one time Michigan commit recently released his top choice of schools, but I see this coming down to Ohio State and Kentucky.  Kentucky is the home state school and he has been there multiple times.  But, he has been to Ohio State multiple times too and is good friends with some of the other recruits in this class that are considering Ohio State.  I do not think that he is even close to being ready to decide again, but I think Ohio State is sitting very nice with Harris and I think that when his recruitment is all over, he will choose the Scarlet and Gray.  I am actually very confident right now that he will be a Buckeye.

2. Larry (LJ) Scott- Hubbard, Ohio
This recruitment has been one of the more interesting ones.  There is no doubt that LJ was very interested in Ohio State from the beginning, but there were some academic issues he needed to work out which he did and Ohio State offered.  Now that Ohio State is in the mix, he has visited the school multiple times.  There were some rumors that Michigan State was leading in his recruitment as he said that he was very close to committing there.  But, a visit to Ohio State a couple of weekends ago, has apparently changed his view on Ohio State and a lot of my sources and people with knowledge of the situation, feel confident that he is trending towards the Buckeyes.  In fact, some people even think that he could be the next commit for the class.  I do not think that is the case.  If he were to commit soon it would be in the summer, but he could drag out his recruitment.  His coach also told me that he is not ready to decide yet.  He is one of the best backs in the nation and would be good to keep him home. I think when his recruitment is all said and done, he will be a Buckeye.

3. Mike Weber- Detroit, Michigan
Ohio State has been recruiting the state of Michigan very hard since Meyer became the head coach, and Cass Tech has been good to them thus far.  Dame Webb, a 2014 recruit, is from the same high school as Weber.  I think that when it comes to running backs, Weber will be the odd man out.  He does love Ohio State and I know he loves Michigan State as well, but I just don’t see Weber being a part of this class.  They are waiting on Harris and then I think they are going to pick one of Scott/Weber.  I do not think that Weber is going to be a part of this class.  But if they wiff on LJ, then I think it could be game on for Weber, especially if LJ chooses Michigan State.

4. Nyehim Hines- Garner, North Carolina
Nyheim Hines would be the perfect fit for Meyer’s H-Back position.  He is blazing fast, running a 4.30 forty, has good hands, and is just great out in space.  I have talked to Nyheim on multiple occasions and he loves talking about Ohio State.  He grew up watching Percy Harvin, and how he succeeded in Meyer’s offense and tries to emulate his game after him.  But, he told me that if he comes to Ohio State, he is not trying to become the next Percy Harvin, but instead, win championships.  He does not have leaders but has visited many schools including Ohio State.  He came away speechless at everything Ohio State had to offered.  He is not ready to make a decision and is trying to narrow down his list, but he assured me that Ohio State would be on that list and also be getting a visit, either in the summer or for a game.  I know that he likes Ohio State a lot and was just excited about the idea of playing in Meyer’s system.  I think the H-Back would fit Hines perfectly and he understands that.  This is going to be my dark horse pick or surprise pick right now, for him to be a part of this class as the H-Back.

MotSaG Chat with Nyheim Hines- Visit Recap

4star_recruit_iconosuHelmetWatching the highlight tape of class of 2015 standout Athlete and All-Purpose-Back, Nyheim Hines, you notice all of the great skills that have college coaches wishing he could play this season for them. The way that he carries the ball, his feet, and oh yea his speed!  Standing 5-9 and weighing 186 pounds, the Garner, North Carolina star runs a blazing fast 4.30 40yd yard dash.  4.30! He is only a junior in high school and has not even been training at the college level yet!  The blazer recently visited Ohio State, and he was amazed at what Ohio State had to offer.

“I was speechless.  They have some of the best facilities there.  They are really only comparable to Oregon.  Everything about Ohio State is just amazing,” Hines said about the visit.

Nyheim_DNAOne of the facilities that he liked the best was the new field turf.  He said that because he cuts and jukes so much he loved the field turf because it can help with his moves.  Meeting Urban Meyer was also a special thing for him as well.  He loved Urban Meyer at Florida and Urban Meyer told him that he would make the perfect H-Back, a role made famous by none other than Percy Harvin.  He wants to play H-Back in college, and said that Meyer told him he would flourish in their offense.  Many fans not only of Ohio State, but  that are familiar with Urban Meyer’s offense, know that the H-Back is usually referred to at the “Percy Harvin Position.

“If I came there, I wouldn’t be going there to be the next Percy Harvin.  I would be going there to win.  Whatever I need to do to help us win,” Hines told me.  Urban Meyer knows of his capabilities and speed and he is a perfect fit for this offense.

Going through the recruiting process has kept Hines busy.  With hundreds and hundreds of people giving him advice as where to go, what schools to visit, etc, things can get a little hectic, especially for a high school student-athlete.  I asked Hines what is the best advice that he has received throughout the process.  There are two pieces of advice that he received that he said have really stuck with him throughout this whole process.  One of those from a UNC coach and the other from his father.   The UNC coach told him about the importance of becoming a man.

“I hope you become a man throughout this process.  You have to be real with everybody. You need to be able to have a man to man talk with coaches, about what you actually like and dislike about every place,” one of the UNC coaches told him.  Hines became more of a man throughout the process as he got more letters and offers.  Another piece of advice  that he said he really took to heart was the advice his father gave him, and which every college recruit should take to heart also.

“My dad told me that I should not let football use me.  This is a decision for forty years, not four years,” Hines’ dad told him.  Mr. Hines is correct on many levels.  Nyheim understands this and that is why he really took this advice to heart.  He knows that if football doesn’t work out, the academic side of the scholarship, will help in the real world.  This is good advice for all recruits.

Besides running track, Nyheim is unsure of what his summer plans are.  He is going to talk to his dad and coach about the whole recruiting process and go from there.  He did tell me that he will narrow his list down to about seven or eight schools in the summer.  He also said that Ohio State will definitely be on that list and that he wants to go back to Ohio State already.  If he does not make it back to Ohio State in the summer, he will be back for a game in the fall.  Hines also can play the clarinet really well and can play the drums too.  He is also pretty darn good at tumbling, which shows you how athletic he is, but I do not know if he included that in his highlight reel.  He wanted to say to all Buckeye fans, “OH-(then the readers say) IO!”

Nyheim Hines is a speedster on the field, has nice moves, and can explode with the ball in his hands at any time on the football field.  Talking to him, he seemed really excited, but blessed to be talking about Ohio State and Urban Meyer.  He has many offers and has a good selection of colleges to choose from.  It is good that Ohio State will be on the list when he cuts it down.  Ohio State is really excited about the chance of Hines coming there to play that H-Back position, with his speed, versatility, and explosiveness.  This is a recruit that every Buckeye fan should get to know and watch this season.

Here is his 247sports profile page.

And follow Hines on twitter: @TheNyNy2