Florida Takes Lead For 4-Star RB Asa Martin

    Four-star running back Asa Martin named the Florida Gators as his leader following his unofficial visit to Gainesville this past weekend. Martin is the No. 1 running back in the state of Alabama.

    March 21, 2017

    Four-star running back Asa Martin named the Florida Gators as his leader following his unofficial visit to Gainesville this past weekend. Martin is the No. 1 running back in the state of Alabama. 

    Get excited, Gators fans. It appears new running backs coach JaJuan Seider is already earning his salary.

    After taking an unofficial visit to Gainesville this past weekend, 4-star prospect Asa Martin named Florida as his leader and told 247Sports his visit went very well.

    Martin, who’s ranked as the No. 13 running back and No. 206 overall player in the country, credited his relationship with Seider as being a big reason why the Gators catapulted into the top spot in his recruitment.

    Asa Martin

    But Martin isn’t the only highly-touted tailback Florida is pursuing. Despite the fact the Gators are likely to enter the 2018 season with at least three running backs topping the depth chart (Lamical Perine, Malik Davis and Adarius Lemons), they’ll probably end up taking two running backs in the 2018 recruiting class.

    So, let’s consider the options and take a quick look at the halfbacks on Florida’s board.

    Asa Martin

    Well, now we know where the Gators stand in his recruitment, and if they can secure a commitment from Martin this summer, it would be a huge building block for Florida’s 2018 haul. Jim McElwain’s staff has done a great job of slowly building a pipeline to Alabama. They landed Perine from the Yellowhammer State in the 2016 class. Now there is Martin, who is ranked as the No. 1 running back in the state for good reason. At 6-foot, 193 lbs he’s very elusive and brings a cutback ability that sets the stage for huge, momentum-shifting runs. He has quick feet and would make an instant impact in The Swamp.

    James Cook

    Try not to be sour on James Cook. Yes, Dalvin Cook is his older brother. And yes, Dalvin did spurn the Gators for their arch rival back in the 2014 cycle. Just remember: none of that wasn’t James’ doing.

    The truth is Florida State just signed three blue-chip running backs in the 2017 class, and the depth chart will be extremely crowded if James decides to honor his commitment end sign with FSU. Seider has already been in contact with Cook, the No. 4 running back and No. 25 overall player in the CI 25 recruiting rankings. At 5-foot-10, 188 lbs Cook does a great job of being patient inside before cutting it out to the boundaries. He’s strong enough to fight through arm tackles and is creative in tight spaces. He catches the ball well, too, and would serve as a nice 3rd-down back.

    Lavonte Valentine

    This is a name you should get very familiar with because it’s likely Lavonte Valentine will end up as one of the two running backs Florida takes in this class. There appears to be a ton of mutual interest between the two parties, and one can definitely see how the Gators’ intrigue has been founded.

    At 6-foot-2, 190 lbs Valentine clearly has the size to play early on. He claims a 40-yard dash time of 4.31 seconds, and the film supports it. He hits another gear as soon as he finds daylight. Pitch it to him, let him get out on the perimeter, and watch him cut up for big run after big run. The vision is a plus, too, as Valentine refuses to go down easily.

    Chris Curry

    He’s not the most well known running back in the class, but Chris Curry can tote the rock. He models his game after Marshawn Lynch, and we may be staring at Baby Beast Mode. He’s 5-foot-11, 205 lbs and a complete beast with the ball in his hands.

    Curry is agile enough to make a man miss one-on-one, but the patience he shows when running the ball is highly impressive. He sees the field well. He stays low to the ground and runs with a wide base like Lynch did. Plus, if you watch his film, you’ll see Curry drag defenders all over the field. The truth is he does a little of everything. He can pop out to the flats and catch the football. He pick up tough yardage between the tackles, and can make plays on the perimeter. Curry is a true diamond in the rough thanks to his 3-star rating.

    Lorenzo Lingard

    Florida will continue to check in on Lorenzo Lingard, but the 5-star running back will likely stick with his commitment to Miami. Still, it’s worth it for the Gators to keep tabs on the No. 2 running back and No. 14 overall player in the CI 25 rankings. At 6-foot-1, 180 lbs Lingard has cutback cat written all over him. Put him in a zone scheme and watch him work. If the backside pursuit is late, he’ll cut up through one of the interior gaps and pick up the first down. If the man over pursues, Lingard will cut it all the way back to the sideline and bust a big run. The acceleration doesn’t blow you away, but he has the top-end speed to get away from the third level defenders.

    MORE: 4-Star WR Jacob Copeland Names Leader In Recruitment


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