Top Southern California Running Backs for 2017

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According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, the top running back in Southern California’s Class of 2018 is St. John Bosco’s Demetrious Flowers, who’s given his verbal to Arizona State. Flowers is ranked No. 25 in the nation at the position.  Flowers, who has a nose for finding the end zone, led Bosco with 20 rushing touchdowns in 2016.

Flowers ran for 954 yards, averaging 7.6 yards per carry last season.

Editor’s note: for our purposes, we consider Southern California to be the CIF-Southern Section and LA City Section.

No. 2 in the area and No. 38 on the 247Sports composite is Palmdale High’s Richard Newton.   Newton, who ran for 1,050 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016, currently has scholarship offers from California, Nevada, Purdue, Utah, Washington and Washington State.

Related: Top SoCal Class of 2018 QB’s

Andrew VanBuren of Chaminade checks-in as No. 3 on the Class of 2018 top running backs composite list in the area.  VanBuren ran for 542 yards and 11 touchdowns playing behind T.J. Pledger, who rushed for over 1,800 yards last year and transferred to IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) during the offseason.

VanBuren, who is ranked No. 51 in the nation at the running back position, currently has offers from Boise State, Boston College, Colorado State, San Jose State and UCLA.

No. 4 is Eric Ellison of Banning, who was the Broncos’ leading rusher as a junior with 806 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ellison, who is currently ranked No. 77 on the list, currently doesn’t have any college scholarship offers.

Khoury Bethley of Don Lugo checks-in at No. 5 in the area and No. 78 in the nation after gaining 2,089 yards last year with 25 touchdowns. Bethley recently committed to Hawaii.

No. 6 in the area is Chuck Wick, who transferred from St. Bonaventure to Ventura.  Last season, for the Seraphs, Wick rushed for 1,680 yards and 16 touchdowns.  He also caught 23 passes in 2016.

Wick, who is ranked as the No. 100 running back in the nation, has offers from Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Jose State and Wyoming.

Oregon-recruit Travis Dye of Norco is ranked No. 7 in the area and No. 105 overall in the nation at running back. Dye had an outstanding 2016 season with 1,878 yards rushing and 465 yards receiving.  He scored 15 touchdowns running and six receiving.  Dye is the younger brother of Oregon linebacker Troy Dye.

Aquinas RB Branden Rankins is No. 8 in the area and No. 108 on the national running backs list. Rankins, who has an offer from Colorado, had an outstanding junior year with 2,585 yards rushing with 30 touchdowns. Rankins averaged 9.8 yards per carry.  Rankins also caught 15 balls last year for three touchdowns.

The No. 9 back in the area is Jermar Jefferson of Redondo, who has offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nevada, Rutgers, San Jose State and UNLV.  Jefferson ran for 1,327 yards and 16 TDs last year.  Jefferson is ranked No. 112 on 247Sports composite rankings at running back for the Class of 2018.

Behind Jefferson is Upland running back Kyle Jones, who averaged seven yards per carry as a junior.  Jones rushed for 1,045 yards and ten touchdowns in 2016.   Jones currently has offers from Colorado, Fresno State, New Mexico and UNLV.  Jones is No. 115 on the RB composite list.

This year’s junior class is headed by Rancho Cucamonga’s Sean Dollars, who is list as a 4-star prospect and the fifth best running back in the nation in the Class of 2019.  Dollars, who has seven scholarship offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, TCU, UCLA and Utah, played last year behind Jaylon Redd, who is now at Oregon.

Dollars averaged 11.2 yards per carry, rushing for 493 yards.

Dorsey’s Charles Mincy is ranked as the No. 16 running back in the nation in the Class of 2018. As a sophomore, Mincey rushed for 920 yards and ten touchdowns.  Mincy has picked-up offers from Colorado, Louisville, Michigan, Nevada and Tennessee. As a freshman, Mincy rushed for 360 yards, averaging over ten yards per carry.

Class of 2018 Top Running Backs in CIF Southern & LA City Sections by 247Sports Composite Rankings

No. 1 Demetrious Flowers – St. John Bosco – Arizona State

No. 2 Richard Newton – Palmdale – Uncommitted

No. 3 Andrew Van Buren – Chaminade – Uncommitted

No. 4 Eric Ellison – Banning – Uncommitted

No. 5 Khoury Bethley – Don Lugo – Hawaii

No. 6 Chuck Wick – Ventura – Uncommitted

No. 7 Travis Dye – Norco – Oregon

No. 8 Branden Rankins – Aquinas – Uncommitted

No. 9 Jermar Jefferson – Redondo Union – Uncommitted

No. 10 Kyle Jones – Upland – Uncommitted

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.

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