The Star-Telegram “Spring Forward” series continues with a look at the top 5 area running backs to watch during the 2018 football season.
With so many high-profile recruits in Dallas-Fort Worth, we're going to cut down the list to only schools covered by the Star-Telegram, which includes Tarrant, Parker and Johnson county.
Here are our top 5 area RBs:
1. Jase McClellan, 2020, Aledo
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The 4-star recruit is committed to Oklahoma. He also considered Alabama, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Miami, Wisconsin and more. McClellan was the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year in 2016 as the Bearcats won the Class 5A Division II state title vs. Corpus Christi Calallen, where he was voted state-title game offensive MVP. In two seasons, McClellan has rushed for 3,100 yards and 48 TDs, 28 coming in 2017. He rushed for 100 or more yards in eight games, including the last six. During the playoffs, McClellan rushed for 200 or more yards in three games with a season-high 240 yards vs. Grapevine in November.
2. T.J. McDaniel, 2019, Southlake Carroll
The 3-star recruit has offers from Clemson, Oregon, Minnesota, Air Force and San Diego State. McDaniel recorded 1,862 yards rushing and 23 TDs in 2017 for the Dragons, who went 10-4 with a trip to the state quarterfinals. He rushed for the century mark in nine games and surpassed 200 yards five times. He had one of the state's best rushing performances of the season when he rushed for 316 yards and 5 TDs on only 16 carries in November against McKinney. McDaniel made the Star-Telegram football all-star first team, District 5-6A first team and was an all-state honorable mention. He also made the Star-Telegram list of the top 2019s in Dallas-Fort Worth.
3. Titus Swen, 2019, Haslet Eaton
Rushed for 100 or more yards in nine games and hit 300 twice. Season-high 302 yards with 4 TDs in Week 3 vs. Frisco Independence. Finished the season with 1,821 yards rushing and 22 TDs. Was voted district Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2016 as a freshman after recording 1,272 yards and 17 TDs. The 4-star recruit holds offers Arizona State, Kansas and SMU. He's ranked the No. 16 running back in the nation and No. 30 overall prospect in the state.
4. D.J. Kirven, 2019, Kennedale
In his career with the Wildcats, Kirven has rushed for 4,500 yard and 76 TDs. Last season, he helped Kennedale to its first state title game and was later named to an all-state selection. He recorded 205 carries for 2,200 yards and 41 TDs, with an average of 10 yards per carry. This included nine 100-yard games with a season-high 354 yards in the state semifinals vs. Stephenville. He had five TDs in three games with six in Week 3 vs. Wichita Falls Rider.
5. Anthony Watkins, 2019, FW South Hills
Many may not know his name, but they will in 2018. Watkins, who plays both ways, is one of the most athletic kids coach J.J. Resendez has had at South Hills, adding to an impressive list which includes Tracin and Tylan Wallace, and Trey Jones. According to 247Sports, Watkins holds three offers from Texas Tech, North Texas and UMass, and his projected to commit with the Red Raiders. Aside from running back and defensive back, Watkins can be a threat in the return game too.
Honorable Mention: Blake Irving (Keller Timber Creek), Demareus Hosey (Justin Northwest), Roshawn Prear (Grapevine), Stacy Sneed (Mansfield Timberview), Zion Hardy (LD Bell), Montrell Smith (Arlington Martin), Ladderious Mixon (Birdville)
Check back on Monday for the top 5 local WRs to watch