Video: Top 10 running backs in the Class of 2018North Carolina's Zamir White could be the next big thing in the backfield.
This may be the era of the passing game where quarterbacks put up mind-numbing numbers. But let's not write off the running back position just yet.
After being drafted fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys a year ago, Ezekiel Elliott proved there's still a place for big time backs in the NFL. The Ohio State product rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns while leading the storied franchise to the top seed in the NFC.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers will attempt to follow that blueprint this season after making running backs Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey Top 10 picks in April's draft.
Highlighted by five Florida ballcarriers, here are the 10 best running backs in the country from the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports.com
1. Zamir White, Scotland (Laurinburg, N.C.)
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound speedster has 24 offers, though he appears to be leaning toward Georgia, Clemson or Alabama in that order. The nation's No. 5 recruit overall rushed for 1,693 yards and 26 touchdowns last season and has more than 5,000 yards rushing and 85 scores in his career. 2. Lorenzo Lingard, University (Orange City, Fla.)
The 6-2, 190-pounder is a 5-star recruit and No. 21 overall at any position. He has 28 offers, including Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame, but he's already firmly committed to Miami.
3. Ricky Slade, Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.)
The 5-9, 185-pounder is ranked the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country and No. 25 recruit overall. He runs a 4.48 second 40-yard dash, can catch out of the backfield and has 26 college offers. He committed to Penn State on Feb. 3.
4. James Cook, Central (Miami, Fla.)
The younger brother of Minnesota Vikings' running back Dalvin Cook, the 6-foot, 181-pounder has already followed in his siblings' footsteps with a commitment to Florida State. He's the No. 30 recruit in the country. 5. Jaelen Gill, Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)
The 6-1, 185-pounder may just be the next big thing at Ohio State. He committed to the Buckeyes on March 1. With 33 offers, Gill could have gone just about anywhere. He's the No. 34 recruit overall, regardless of position.
6. T.J. Pledger, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
The 5-8, 190-pounder is a blur. He rushed for 1,881 yards and 32 touchdowns last season at Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.) before transferring to IMG in the spring. The No. 3 all-purpose back in the country and No. 38 recruit overall, committed to Oklahoma on March 25. 7. Brian Snead, Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)
The fourth running back from Florida is a rugged and fast back who has committed to Ohio State. He's rushed for 2,323 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career at the perennial Florida power. 8. Dameon Pierce, Bainbridge (Ga.)
The top running back coming out of a state known for great backs, the 5-11, 205-pounder has rushed for 4,656 yards and 60 touchdowns in his illustrious prep career. He's also a big threat out of the backfield with 41 career catches. Pierce has 17 offers, including Alabama, Auburn and Florida State, but look for him to stay home and go to Georgia.
9. Fabian Franklin, Hattiesburg (Miss.)
The 6-foot, 200-pounder is the top back — and player — out of Mississippi and looks destined for LSU, but Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and locals, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, are charging hard for the all-around back. Franklin has rushed for 2,283 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career.
10. Cam'Ron Davis, Carol City (Miami, Fla.)
The fifth and final back from Florida could turn out to be the best. The 5-10, 193-pounder will join Lingard at Miami.