Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: West Region [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
RB Layton has one offer in, looking for more

By Erik McKinney

California is home to some of the top running backs in the nation, with Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) leading the way up north and Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) and Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial) serving as the headliners in the south.

But beyond those three, some depth is building in the state, and Mitchell Layton (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek) is hoping to add his name to the list.

The Timberwolves went just 2-8 last season, but Layton contributed more than his share of highlight-reel plays, as he rushed for 886 yards and nine touchdowns, caught 16 passes for 201 yards and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Layton received an offer from Yale earlier this year and assistant coach Marco Hanan said this week brought the first interest from FBS schools, as Colorado, UNLV and Wyoming inquired about the 6-foot-1, 191-pound back.

Hanan is the head track coach as well, and very familiar with Layton's accolades in that sport as well, where he was the varsity champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and anchored the league champs in the 400-meter relay. Layton was also named first team All-League at running back.

"He's big, strong and fast," Hanan said. "Out in the open field, he's tough to contain. He has good vision, good cuts and makes good reads. He's good in all those ways."

Layton is looking into making several unofficial visits this summer, and his camp season will get started with an appearance at the Northern California Nike Combine and Camp. He will take an unofficial visit to Yale this summer, and will fill in the rest of his schedule depending upon what schools visit him during the May evaluation period.

Hanan said the running back understands how important this offseason and early fall will be for his recruitment, in terms of establishing himself as a legitimate BCS-level recruit.

"He's had a great spring," Hanan said. "He's been working in the weight room since the end of last spring and has gotten even bigger, faster and stronger. He's already matched his lifetime bests very early in the track season."