2016 GZL DRAFT PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
The Running Back Edition
Corey Smith, GreenZone Media Committee
August 7th, 2013
**NOTE: Player ratings are subject to change over the course of the NCAA season! Nothing is final until the entire draft class is released.
Riddick Owen | Ohio State | 6’0” 234lbs
: 94SPD, 77STR, 68AWR, 89AGI, 90ACC, 70CTH, 80CAR, 87BTK, 15KRT
Not unlike the other great RB’s that have come out of the B1G, or OSU specifically, Riddick Owen is poised to bust onto the GZL scene. Riddick is in his Senior season with the Buckeyes, and is in position to be, at least, in attendance for the Heisman Trophy presentation. Averaging over 145 yards and nearly two TD’s per game through OSU’s first 3 games, this kid has GZL scouts attention.
Owen has a GZL build, and top-level speed to go along with it. He displays incredible strength when running the ball, and must be wrapped up and/or gang-tackled in order to be brought down. He also possesses a great set of hands, and can be very effective out of the backfield in the passing game. Being such a ready-to-go prospect, expect Owen to go very early this spring.
: Frank Gore (young version) | 49ers
: Top 5 Pick
Vince Rogers | USC | 6’1” 229lbs
: 92SPD, 73STR, 54AWR, 92AGI, 95ACC, 48CTH, 80CAR, 84BTK, 62KRT
A similar back to Riddick Owen, USC’s Vince Rogers has a skill set that will make him coveted in the GZL draft this spring as well. Rogers was the #2 rated HB coming out of high school, but hadn’t been able to keep the starting role for the Trojans due to a bevy of off-the-field issues. But he has appeared to better dedicate himself to football over the time since last season, and has started all three games for the Trojans this fall so far.
Rogers relies more on his athletic ability than does Owen, and it’s clear on the tape. While he does have a bit more quicks, Rogers is not really a viable option out of the back field. However, his combination of explosiveness and hard-nosed running can surely be effective in the GZL.
: Ryan Matthews | Chargers
: Top 10 Pick
Gerard Campbell | TCU | 6’1” 232lbs
: 88SPD, 85STR, 52AWR, 86AGI, 89ACC, 75CTH, 80CAR, 87BTK, 10KRT
Football heads will see a bruising back named Campbell from a Texas school and be reminded of a certain former Longhorn. Well, he should, because Gerard Campbell is the nephew of former Texas Longhorn and Houston Oiler’s #1 overall pick (’78) Earl Campbell. Gerard may not be the second coming of his uncle, but it’s evident that he’s seen what old unc did back in the day, and has tried to model his game after it.
Campbell is a big back that runs with an attitude. There is not much wiggle to his game, as he would prefer to lower a shoulder and run through you, rather than around you. Campbell also has surprisingly soft hands, and can hurt you in the passing game. GZL scouts love big backs, and he’s a good one.
: Steven Jackson (young version) | Rams
: Top 15 Pick
Chase Sullivan | UCLA | 5’7” 197lbs
: 97SPD, 64STR, 47AWR, 96AGI, 98ACC, 77CTH, 80CAR, 70BTK, 99KRT
A world-class sprinter that is trying his hand at football, Chase Sullivan brings a rather unique set of skills to the field. Chase did not play football for his first two years at UCLA, as he was training for the Olympics (100m, 4X100m relay). But last season, and so far this season, he has proven to have some ability both in the back field, and in the return game. In fact, after having returned a combined seven KR/PR’s over the last season-plus (5 in 2015), Sullivan was a unanimous All-American selection as a return specialist in 2015.
Chase is a guy that, if you can get a hand on him, he’ll likely go down. But getting that hand on him is the challenge. He’s small in stature, but can get you production and the chance for a big play from the HB, WR, or Return man spots. His knowledge of the game is pretty shaky at this point, mainly due to a lack of focus on football during his time at UCLA.
: C.J. Spiller | Chiefs
: Late 1st Round
Michael Castle [FB] | Wake Forest | 5’11” 233lbs
: 84SPD, 77STR, 65AWR, 81AGI, 83ACC, 78CTH, 75CAR, 79BTK, 43PBK, 48RBK
Just to put the spotlight on at least one Fullback in this article, Michael Castle is one of the new-breed type of FB. He’s not a guy that is going to clear out huge holes for a runner behind him, but he can still be effective as a lead blocker. Where Castle is strong at is his ability to carry the ball from time to time, and also be a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.
: Carey Davis | Broncos
: Mid Round Pick
Check back next week for the next position group!