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Recruiting breakdown: Running backs

LSU is still after 2013 RB Adam Taylor, but the Tigers are focusing more on 2014. Max Olson/ESPN.com

It looked for a while like LSU had added a new running back for 2013 in Adam Taylor (Katy, Texas/Katy). Reports of Taylor's commitment to LSU turned out to be premature, but the Tigers' interest in the 200-pounder hasn't dwindled.

Taylor was at LSU's July camp working out for the coaches. The soon-to-be senior at Katy suffered a season-ending knee injury early in his 2011 campaign and, like many other LSU targets, the main question is how well Taylor is recovering.

Of course, one look at LSU's roster raises an important question: how badly do the Tigers even need running backs at this juncture?

LSU has had stacked backfields in the past -- names like Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams and Charles Scott, all splitting carries. But this might be a different level for LSU coach Les Miles. The Tigers return two 700-yard rushers in Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, a 500-yard rusher in Alfred Blue and 336 yards and eight touchdowns from Kenny Hilliard.

Those four run the gamut in terms of abilities: two battering rams in Ware and Hilliard, pure breakaway speed from Blue and a little of everything in Ford -- last year's leading rusher.

That doesn't even factor in rarely-used sophomore Terrence Magee, who totaled 136 yards in mop-up duty last fall, and new face Jeremy Hill, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound monster of a freshman.

All told, recruiting the running back position has gone pretty well for LSU -- that may be an understatement. Of the Tigers' five primary backs, three were four star recruits, the other two were three star. All five fell in to a rating range of 77 to 81, according to ESPN scouts.

Of those five, only Blue, Ford and Ware will be draft eligible at the end of 2012. But with the way the Tigers share carries in the ground game, don't look for more than one or two of those three to have an NFL resume by next winter.

So whether LSU eventually adds Taylor to this class or not, it's safe to say the backfield is crowded. It might make more sense for the Tigers to hold off on adding to the position this year in hopes of a bigger payoff in 2014.

And what a payoff it could be.

The class of 2014 seems pretty decked out with some next-level talent -- none more prominent than local product Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine). Fournette camped at LSU last week, and it's not an exaggeration to say that there was a member of the LSU coaching staff with him almost everywhere he went. At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Fournette should be one of the jewels of the 2014 class when all the rankings come in. His offer list is impressive to say the least, and having seen him at camp, his abilities match the hype.

There will be other names to look out for, no doubt. Out-of-state players like Racean Thomas (Oxford, Al./Oxford) and Clemson commit Dalvin Cooke (Miami, Fla./Miami Central) have already been offered. And there's no shortage of Louisiana talent the Tigers will take a look at.

Headlined by a talent like Fournette, it looks like LSU might use 2014 as a chance to restock the admittedly loaded running back situation.