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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Ohio State outlook: Top 5 RBs in 2014

By Brad Bournival

As the 2014 recruiting class comes more and more into focus following what was yet another strong national signing day for Urban Meyer, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the running back position. Though it’s a position of strength for Ohio State with junior Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) committing on Feb. 10, the Buckeyes aren't satisfied yet.

In the Class of 2013, Ohio State took just one running back – Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) -- and with Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde out of eligibility after the season, the Buckeyes could take two from the Class of 2014.

Here are the top five running backs of 2014 with Ohio State offers who are not committed elsewhere. All five are ESPN Watch List selections.

1. Joe Mixon (Oakley, Cal./Freedom)

Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Boise State, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Idaho, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Nevada, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Outlook: The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Mixon has watched his recruiting blow up lately. While he’s high on the Buckeyes, he’s waiting on offers from Alabama, LSU and Oregon. It’ll be a fight to nab Mixon.

2. Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown)

Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin

Outlook: The 5-11, 216-pound Chubb was very high on the Buckeyes, but has since narrowed his choices to Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. He did add the words “right now” in his quote on March 3, so things could change.

3. Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic)

Offers: Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Outlook: The 6-foot, 209-pound Hood originally had Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State in his top three, but is now reconsidering his top three. On Monday, he stated on his official Twitter account that he’s done talking about his recruiting. Don’t be surprised if Hood stays close to home.

4. Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville)

Offers: Florida, Florida State, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Florida, UCLA, Utah

Outlook: James is a fan of the Gators and lives in the very city where Florida plays. It’ll be incredibly difficult to pull the 5-10, 163-pound James out of the Sunshine State.

5. Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock)

Offers: Arkansas, Duke, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech

Outlook: The Buckeyes appear to be in good shape with the Watch List junior, but will likely be fighting with Florida State and South Carolina for the 5-10, 179-pound Scott. In the end, the Gamecocks look like the team to beat.