July 2, 2013

Other schools pursuing Tide commitment

MORE: Around the Southeast

WESTWOOD, Calif. -- Bo Scarbrough calls Tuscaloosa, Ala., home. He has been committed to Alabama since September. His recruitment seemingly could not get more boring.

This is the SEC, though, and that means nothing in recruiting is humdrum.

Why Scarbrough is so coveted, and why Florida, Georgia and others continue to push for his services, is that he is a physical anomaly at 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, a running back who can charge through tacklers without getting a scratch.

Seeing Scarbrough, who recently transferred to Northport (Ala.) Tuscaloosa County, in person and realizing Alabama is going to use him in the backfield is a scary thought. He is straight muscle, no body fat, a Ferrari in a teenager's body.

Alabama loves big running backs. Scarbrough is one of them. The running back play in Tuscaloosa has been unbelievably successful in recent years, and because he's a hometown kid Scarbrough has seen it all right in his backyard.

"First of all, I was at home and I think it doesn't get better than what it already was," Scarbrough said of Alabama. "You have all the schools in the country, and the No. 1 team in the country offers you, especially at my position, running back. They've had great running backs come through there all the way down the line, and it was something I wanted to do.

"At the end of the day, that was my final decision. They've been on me pretty tough. With me being an in-state kid and a hometown kid, you'd think they'd back off, but they're not stopping."

The top-rated athlete and the No. 21 prospect in the 2014 class, Scarbrough seems like a historian of former Alabama running backs.

On the spot, the four-star ripped off many of the standout backs who have helped to lead the Crimson Tide to recent national titles and the current ones who have Alabama rated among the top teams in preseason polls.

Scarbrough may be next in line.

"I've got some shoes to fill," Scarbrough said. "By them developing Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, Glen Coffee, T.J. Yeldon, and I think Derrick Henry is going to be a big priority to that team. I want to keep that spot going, and it's something I want to do."

If there is a knock on Scarbrough, a slight criticism, it is that he's just too big. Alabama likes big backs, but the Northport Tuscaloosa County athlete is really big.

Henry is bigger but unproven as a college running back, especially after breaking his leg this offseason. At the same stage, Scarbrough is just as tall and weighs more than any of the other backs mentioned above.

That does not mean, not at all, that Scarbrough cannot succeed at running back. Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said Scarbrough's athleticism and especially the way Alabama loves using big backs could lead to him churning up major yards.

"I'll never doubt an athlete as good as Bo Scarbrough if he says he's going to play running back, especially at a school that loves power football and big, physical backs," Farrell said.

"That being said, I think he's more suited for either H-back/tight end or as a linebacker on defense because of his size. I could see him being a matchup nightmare on offense at a flex position and dominant on defense as a linebacker because he's so explosive. But it wouldn't shock me if he's the next great back at Alabama, either."

Alabama seems like an open-and-shut case, but it isn't. Florida and Georgia continue to recruit Scarbrough, and he's planning official visits.

"Florida is saying I can play right away, but for me that's not what I want," Scarbrough said. "I want to at least work for my position, because there may be some things I can't do. With me going to Alabama and competing, it might come up out of me.

"With Georgia, they also have great running backs like Todd Gurley, so at the end of the day that's what it was. I'm going to take official visits to Georgia and Florida."

Those trips could happen, but it's still expected that Scarbrough sticks with the Crimson Tide. A recent conversation at the B2G Elite Camp might have shed more light on his thinking.

Scarbrough was fooling around about the Los Angeles heat, with Southern California temps reaching into the 100s last week at camp, and a counselor asked the four-star where he was from, knowing that the Alabama summers are no picnic, either.

"It's not this hot in Alabama," Scarbrough said. "It doesn't feel this hot. I'm from Tuscaloosa. That's where I'm from."




 

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