2013 RBs anyone?


The future at Florida’s running back position will be sitting in the south end zone Saturday night.

And it isn’t 2012 commitments Matt Jones and Mike Davis or Keith Marshall, the nation’s No. 1 tailback and UF’s top visitor this weekend.

We’re talking next year.

The Gators plan on taking two running backs in 2013, and the four top candidates will be in the stands together when the Gators take on No. 3 Alabama.

“The coaches told me they want two backs in my class,” Adam Lane of Winter Haven, Fla., said. “They said I’m one of the main four guys they’re looking at right now. Me, Derrick Henry, Kelvin Taylor and Greg Bryant. So as of now it’s pretty much a race of whose gonna commit first.”

They all hail from the Sunshine State, and at some point in each one’s recruitment, Florida has led.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to Henry.

“I heard Florida’s been their No. 1,” said Yulee’s Henry, who shocked the recruiting world when he committed to Georgia in July. “I can understand why because they’re trying to get two elite backs and how they want use them sounds good. And they’re showing it on the field. So who wouldn’t want to go?”

Henry did in the beginning, and the lifelong Gator fan still has UF in consideration. He’s watched all four games this season and has seen the coaching staff’s pitches come to fruition.

“They’re doing what they said would (with the running backs),” he said. “The offense that they put in is doing very well, and I’m loving it.”

American Heritage running back Greg Bryant is the only one who currently has UF with an outright lead. He couldn’t be reached for comment but has said that the play of Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps this year sparked his interest.

Florida was the early favorite for Taylor, who is the son of former Gator Fred Taylor and naturally grew up rooting for UF. But after a trip to Tuscaloosa, the Glades Day star made the Crimson Tide his co-leader.

“I went up to Alabama this summer and I loved the atmosphere,” said Taylor, who plans to wear neutral colors for the game. “They have the same things Florida does — great coaches, great program and they work hard. So I had to put them in my top two.”

Taylor said his father gives great recruiting advice, but he doesn’t force the issue of following in his footsteps.

“I’m sure he would like to see me in a Florida Gator uniform,” Taylor said, “but he just tells me to pick the best school for me.”

The Gators were also the front-runner for Lane‘s services back in June, but he has since changed his approach to the process.

“I actually sat down with my mom and dad and we talked about not naming a leader so I don’t rush into anything,” said Lane, who will have UF in his top five along with Georgia Tech, South Carolina and South Florida. “I was just going off pure emotions. I still need to study Florida’s background and education.”

Henry wants to study the Gators on the field, and this weekend will be the perfect opportunity.

“This game will probably show me if Florida is for me,” he said. “Playing a team like Alabama and being able to see how they game plan and use their backs, it will help determine my decision moving forward.”

Despite the obvious competition for the two spots in 2013, the running backs said they don’t feel rushed to make a commitment before the others.

“My mom gets into all the message boards, and there are sometimes when you feel a little pressure,” Lane said. “But then I come back to earth because if I’m gonna pick a school I want to wait and make sure I don’t have any regrets at the end.”


  1. AND “Fred Taylor’s kid” IS another top RB, but ISN’T automatically a Gator-commit? (Maybe that part in quotes has something to do with it.)
    Well then, fair is fair–no legacy, no loyalty, I guess, for now–and WE are free to get the best two that WANT to be Gators.

    • John,

      Derrick Henry is the best of bunch. At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, he’s the type of player UF has been missing in the backfield. That will change next year with the arrival Matt Jones, but having two big backs can’t hurt and looks like more of a priority now.

      To me the second best is a toss up between Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane. Taylor shows so many flashes of his dad (vision, cut back ability), but he’s not as fast as Lane. I will would probably give the edge to Taylor, though.

  2. As many scholarships as the Gators have AND with the possibility of injury to players why not go after 3 big backs. Keep two fresh big backs available! Still wish that Florida had lookede at Alabama’s NO 45, Jalston Fowler who at 230 pounds coulld have really helped the Gatorts this year.
    Jalston was intersted in Fl but was ignored by the coaches. He’s in the Alabama running back mix after Richardson.

    At least now we may have some power running up the middle with big guys on the way. Could Jordan Reed move to running back like like 1980s tight end James Jones did?

  3. All this attention on big backs is kinda funny. There arent that many that have size and speed of T. Richardson. Kelvin Taylor is a must have for the Gators. Listed around 5’11, 205 plenty big enough with moves that have destroyed teams since his FRESHMAN year playing Varsity!! Guarantee if we lose him to Bama we will regret it

  4. While having big good backs they don’t do too much good without great big strong and quick O-lineman. Give me a dominate line and normal backs and I will be good. Give me great backs and an average or less O-line and I will suffer. Better more effective o-line play against Bama would have made a difference, perhaps not a win but no hurt QB and better running game.

  5. This has nothing to do with these RB’s but could Matt Jones possible come in and start for us next year? I think its obvious the coaching staff isnt as high on Gillislie and Mack Brown for the system we are trying to run because neither has gotten even one meaningful carry. The depth chart is going to be wide open.

  6. Henry is an incredible athlete, but I don’t think he’s the best RB of the group. At the HS level he dominates b/c he is bigger, stronger, faster than everyone else. In college things are a little different. He does not have the best technique when he runs. He is straight up and down and will take a beating running like that. That being said, I REALLY want him b/c he is a Buck waiting to happen. 232 as a high school junior = at least 260 in college.

  7. Take a look at Alabama’s Roster on Google. They have about 6 running backs listed. And all these guys have some substance. Trent Richardson, Marcus Lattimore? These guys are good who can POWER up the middle. Kudos to Demps and Rainey but scatting around the ends is pretty easily defensed against the power SEC teams. Again with thousands of HSs in the USA why not have some bruisers up front?
    And in the backfield. Hope the3 o and d lines can play better!