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Insider

2013 Breakdown: Running backs

5/8/2012

The University of Alabama has had a running back taken in the first round of the NFL draft the last two years, so it’s no surprise that the majority of top running back prospects in the country have the Crimson Tide among their top schools.

UA got a jump start at the position in 2013, securing commitments from Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny, two ESPN 150 running backs, before March. Still, the Tide coaching staff has shown that it would like to add another back in this class, preferably one with more speed and versatility. Alabama is going after prospects like Alvin Kamara, Ryan Green and Kailo Moore, three speedier backs who could also play in the slot for the Tide. Either way, with T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake signed in 2012 and Jones and Tenpenny already committed for 2013, the future looks bright for Alabama at running back.

Altee Tenpenny - North Little Rock, Ark.

Alabama landed its first running back commitment, Tenpenny, during its first junior day in January. At 5-foot-11, 207 pounds, he’s the bigger of the two commits, and he has the size and power to handle the load as a feature back for the Crimson Tide. The biggest question mark with Tenpenny is his health. He fractured his fibula and dislocated his ankle in a scrimmage prior to last year, forcing him to miss the entire season with the injury. He recently said he’s close to 100 percent, and he can’t wait to get back on the field and prove himself in the fall. When healthy, Tenpenny is one of the best running backs in 2013 and should fit well in UA’s offense.

On his commitment to Alabama: "It’s a great all-around school, academics, athletics, great coaches, and I know that Alabama has a lot of benefits. It felt like the right thing to do. I was just praying about it. I talked to my parents about it, and when I went down there, it just felt right."

Tyren Jones - Marietta, Ga.

Less than a month after Tenpenny committed, Jones followed suit and made a verbal pledge to Alabama, giving the Crimson Tide two ESPN 150 running backs for 2013. Jones may be smaller in stature at 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, but he also has deceptive power. The best word to describe his running style is explosive. He has a strong lower body. He hits the hole hard, and he has the speed to break away. As a junior at Walton High School, Jones rushed for 2,375 yards and 38 touchdowns, tops in the state of Georgia. Similar to Tenpenny, he also has the talent and capability of being the feature back for Alabama one day.

On his commitment to Alabama: "I already had a top five, but when I visited there, I just felt that vibe. I felt comfortable with everyone there and I feel like they would help me grow as a man."

Alvin Kamara - Norcross, Ga.

Speed. That’s what Alabama has been trying to recruit from the skill positions in recent years, and Kamara is no exception. He proved to be one of the fastest players at the Atlanta NFTC recently, which earned him an invite to The Opening. The UA coaching staff also likes his versatility and could move him out to the slot at times if he ends up choosing the Tide. At this point, Kamara remains wide open in his recruitment, but Alabama and Georgia may have a slight edge with Florida also a possibility. The Georgia native spent nearly a full week in Tuscaloosa last month.

On possible competition at Alabama: "They’re still pitching me at running back. It’s all competition. Anywhere you go, there’s going to be competition. It’s not scaring me. It’s just another opportunity to get better."

Ryan Green - St. Petersburg, Fla.

Looking for a third back in the 2013 class who possesses speed, Alabama also offered a scholarship to Green, a speedster from St. Petersburg, Fla. The ESPN 150 running back may be the biggest home run threat of any back in the class. However, the Crimson Tide may be somewhat of a long shot to land his signature. Recently, Green told TideNation that he’s favoring the two in-state schools, Florida and Florida State, as well as Notre Dame where he’s already visited twice. After picking up the Alabama offer, he did express interest in visiting Tuscaloosa over the summer.

Derrick Green - Richmond, Va.

Alabama offered another ESPN 150 running back last week when they extended a scholarship to Green. The Richmond, Va., prospect has trimmed down from around 270 pounds to 215 pounds, and he now has the speed to go along with the power. That rare combination has made him one of the top backs in the country, and he already holds over 30 offers. Alabama couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go after Green, but it may be too little too late for the Tide. Still, the recent history of running backs at UA is intriguing to him.

Kailo Moore - Rosedale, Miss.

As Alabama continues to search for more speed, Moore is another prospect who possesses track-like speed and would be a nice complement to Jones and Tenpenny. In fact, Moore won the 100-meter and 200-meter races last summer at the Junior Olympics in New Orleans. He’s fast. As a sophomore, he committed to Ole Miss but reopened his recruitment when Houston Nutt was let go. The Rebels are still one of his top schools along with Alabama and Mississippi State. He was scheduled to visit Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s last junior day in February, but a track meet prevented him from making it.