Varsity Preps

April Northeast Region Running Back Report For Class of 2014

Varsity Preps takes a look at some of the best running backs in the Northeast Region of the United States in the Class of 2014. Note: This is not a list of the top 8.  (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, STATE IN PARENTHESIS). Click names to view highlight videos.


MARK ALLEN (MD) – DeMatha Catholic  – 5’7”, 185 lbs.  

Allen ran for 682 yards and 4 touchdowns during the 2012 season before tearing his ACL.  He gave a verbal commitment to Penn State.  It’s not hard to see why Penn State initially pulled the trigger with Allen.  Out of the running backs on this list, only Jamuri Bogan may rival him in terms of pure explosiveness.  Once Allen sees an opening, he attacks it at full speed and before you know it, he’s in the end zone.   Allen is also a good receiver and is dangerous on screen plays.  Hopefully he will have a great recovery and be ready for the 2013 football season.

JAMAURI BOGAN (NJ) – Union   – 5’7”, 170 lbs.

Bogan has rushed for 4,384 yards and 57 touchdowns in his high school career.  Bogan was named New Jersey’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011.  He currently holds offers from: Georgia Tech, UMass, Temple, Toledo and Western Michigan.  Only Mark Allen, out of this groups, rivals him in explosiveness.  Bogan is very fast and his  ability to make cuts and get north-south all in one motion is on an elite level.  If he was a little bit bigger, his offer sheet would probably be in the double-digit category. It’s still early in the recruiting process, so don’t be surprised if that comes to fruition.

TAIWAN DEAL (MD) – DeMatha Catholic – 6’2”, 225 lbs.

During the 2012 season, Deal rushed for 955 rushing yards and  21 rushing touchdowns.  Deal has received offers from:  Boston College, UConn, Iowa, Maryland, UMass, Michigan State, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Deal is also being looked at as a linebacker at the next level.  He’s a big and strong kid who does a lot of damage in-between the tackles.  He’s a hard-nosed runner that is very hard to take down to his size and strength.  He’s also being look at as a linebacker at the next level.  Deal also shared carries with Mark Allen during the 2012 season before Allen tore his ACL.

JONATHAN HILLMAN (NJ)- St. Peter’s Prep – 6’1”, 210 lbs.

Hillman rushed for 1,400 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2012.  He currently holds 25+ offers including schools such as: Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, and Nebraska.  Hillman is one of those hard-to-find backs that have both size and breakaway speed that’s on the elite level.   He’s a strong runner that also has a nice burst and has top-end speed in the open field.  Hillman also plays on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker.

ROBERT MARTIN (PA) – Harrisburg – 6’0”, 190 lbs.

Martin rushed for 1,812 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in 2012 after getting very limited carries during his first four games.  Martin currently holds offers from UMass, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Temple, Toledo, and West Virginia.  Martin is a football player, simply put.  He plays linebacker for the Cougars as well and is also getting looked at for that position as well.  A 2,000 yard season in 2013 could be in the works for Martin.

SHAI MCKENZIE (PA) – Washington – 5’11”, 210 lbs.

McKenzie rushed for 2,689 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns during the 2012 season.  McKenzie currently holds 25+ offers including schools such as: Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Purdue, and Wisconsin.  McKenzie’s blend of size, speed, and power make him an elite running back. At this point, the question is who hasn’t offered him.

GERALD OWENS (NJ) – West Deptford    – 6’2”, 240 lbs.

Owens rushed for 1,705 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns during the 2012 season.  He currently holds offers from:  Boston College, Michigan State, Rutgers, Temple, Texas, and Wisconsin.  Owens is not your typical fullback.  He is a powerful back, but has excellent speed and agility as well.   For a “big back”, Owens can be elusive in the open field and has the speed to break long runs.  Owens is a freight train once he gets moving and is beyond scary for linebackers and defensive backs to try and tackle.

MARSHAWN WILLIAMS (VA) – Hampton – 5’11”, 200 lbs.

Williams rushed for 1,186 yards and 20 touchdowns during the 2012 season.  He has already given a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech.  One of the most impressive things about Williams is his ability to gain yards after contact.  He’s a physical runner who is not easy to tackle at all.  Williams has nice speed and hits the hole fairly quickly.

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