BamaGreg, what the heck is a "testimate". Must be a alabubba thing or is Hart and Sims "mated" at the testes. ;)
The running back position has received plenty of attention in the SEC in recent years thanks to the success of Alabama’s Mark Ingram, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Auburn’s Michael Dyer.
All three of those players made significant impacts their first season on campus.
Here’s are the top five high school running back signees in the SEC in February:
1. Isaiah Crowell – Georgia
Some analysts believe he will do for Georgia what Lattimore did for South Carolina last year. Those expectations might be too high, but it shows you what kind of talent Crowell possesses. Georgia has been disappointed with the progress of running backs Caleb King and Washaun Ealey. That’s why Georgia’s coaches hope Crowell will beat them out this fall.
2. Kenny Hilliard – LSU
Hilliard is already in Baton Rouge going through the spring semester at LSU. Hilliard has the size (5-11, 225) to play right away in the SEC, and the Tigers might need that with the departure of Stevan Ridley to the NFL. Hilliard probably didn’t show up on the hype-meter last year because he committed to LSU early in his junior year. The Tigers are very fortunate to have him.
3. Dee Hart – Alabama
Alabama was disappointed to miss out on Crowell, but Hart was a nice consolation prize. Hart (5-9, 190) doesn’t have the typical size of a Nick Saban running back, but he should be a nice complement to starter Trent Richardson. Hart is a great athlete who Alabama hopes will be a home run threat to help make up for the losses of Ingram and wide receiver Julio Jones.
4. Mike Blakely – Florida
The Gators took care of one of their priorities in 2011 when they signed this in-state running back. Blakely isn’t expected to beat out returning starter Jeffery Demps, but his pass receiving skills and play-making ability should give him a chance to help right away. How will Blakely fit into the pro-style offense of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis? We’ll see, but Weis will certainly welcome an elite athlete into his offense.
5. Marlin Lane – Tennessee
The Vols caught a break when Clemson decided to pull its scholarship offer to Lane, who had been committed to the Tigers. Lane had a legal incident in December that helped lead to the offer being pulled. UT is looking for someone to spell returning starter Tauren Poole, and Lane (6-0, 210) looks like he’s ready to play immediately. His running style is exactly what Derek Dooley is looking for, which made Lane a perfect fit for the Vols.