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Fact or Fiction: Rueben Owens II has the highest draft potential of all RBs


Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris – along with Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney, Cole Patterson of Orangebloods.com and Ben Golan of RedRaiderSports.com – tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

1. Rueben Owens II has the highest NFL Draft potential of all running backs in the 2023 class.

Rueben Owens II

Rueben Owens II (Rivals.com)

Harris’ take: FACT. The positional value of running backs has seen a dramatic decrease in the last two decades as talent as become more abundant and injuries have derailed careers before they take off with elite talent. However, running backs that can show all-purpose ability and open up offenses such as Alvin Kamara and Austin Ekeler have seen big increases in value. As a result, colleges are taking more of an all-purpose approach when looking for dynamic weapons that can do a variety of things, such as El Campo’s Rueben Owens II. His ability out of the backfield and lined up out wide makes him a surefire weapon at the next level with cemented first-round NFL Draft potential.

Gorney’s take: FACT. As we’ve seen in recent years, draft value has been limited in the first round for running backs but the versatility Owens brings to the backfield sets him apart in the 2023 class. Justice Haynes would be the biggest threat to Owens because he’s just phenomenal with the ball in his hands and is a better pass-catcher than he’s given credit for but Owens can really do it all and NFL teams will find that very attractive.

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2. Tre Wisner is a top three running back recruit in the state of Texas.

Tre Wisner

Tre Wisner (Cole Patterson)

Harris’ take: FICTION. While the state of Texas has seen a down year in 2023 at position groups like quarterback and offensive line, the running back position group is full of top-end talent. In any other year, Tre Wisner being a top three running back in the state would be a sure thing, but that’s not the case this year. In my personal rankings, I would slide Wisner behind Rueben Owens II, Kedrick Reescano and Quinten Joyner. Owens provides out-of-the-backfield ability unlike any other recruit in the country, Reescano shows balance and durability that puts him among the elite, and Joyner’s track-speed makes him a deadly weapon for any offense.

Patterson’s take: FACT. Texas earned a huge win on the recruiting trail when Rivals250 running back Tre Wisner committed to the Longhorns over rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M earlier this month. Wisner is a part of a loaded crop of running backs in the Lone Star State, headlined by Rivals100 prospect Rueben Owens II, another key Texas target. Wisner is a dynamic threat running and catching the football, which sets him apart from most in the class. The state features a strong group of backs — including the likes of Kalib Hicks, Quinten Joyner, Kedrick Reescano, and Cameron Cook — but I am a big fan of the all-around game that Wisner brings to the table. The recent Longhorns commitment has impressed in camp and 7v7 settings this spring and looks to be in store for a big senior campaign at Dallas-area powerhouse DeSoto this fall.

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3. Of all of its commits, Texas Tech should be most concerned about keeping Calvin Simpson-Hunt.

Calvin Simpson-Hunt

Calvin Simpson-Hunt (Ben Golan/RedRaiderSports.com)

Harris’ take: FACT. Texas Tech has done a solid job bringing in commits that are being undervalued by other programs in the region and across the country, but Calvin Simpson-Hunt is finally getting the attention he deserves from major Power Five programs. Schools such as Notre Dame, LSU and Florida have thrown their hat in the ring for the talented cornerback out of Waxahachie (Texas), as a busy summer of visits will determine just how likely a flip could be in this recruitment for the Red Raiders. While other commits such as Brenden Jordan should be concerns as well, I see Simpson-Hunt as the likeliest to flip.

Golan’s take: FACT. Simpson-Hunt is a great testament to the evaluation skills and connections of Texas Tech’s new staff. When the Red Raiders offered Simpson-Hunt back in November, the talented corner had very little recruiting interest, but Texas Tech made him a massive priority in 2023 which led to an early commitment.

Fast-forward a few months and Simpson-Hunt is being courted by programs such as Stanford, LSU, Oregon and Notre Dame, and while he remains committed, he’s not been shy about taking other visits and seeing his options.

Simpson-Hunt is one of the most athletic corners in the country and this will be a battle for the Texas Tech coaches until pen hits paper.

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