Alabama already has two running backs committed for its Class of 2017 — the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit, Najee Harris, and four-star prospect Brian Robinson, who hails from Tuscaloosa.
Even with two blue-chip prospects on board, Nick Saban has not stopped personally recruiting another running back.
Anthony McFarland Jr., a four-star running back from football powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.), told SEC Country’s Corey Masisak at Nike’s The Opening regional in Washington, D.C. that he “loves Alabama.”
“I like how they breed (running) backs,” McFarland said. “Even though I’m not a power back, I think it’s one of those schools that I can showcase my abilities. Not just running the ball, but playing in the slot as a receiver, too.”
McFarland is an all-purpose back, meaning that he likely would not be an every-down running back at the school he chooses. He does have abilities that most running backs don’t have, however.
Though Alabama does have Harris and Robinson in the Class of 2017, he’s not worried about them if he were to choose the Crimson Tide because of his versatility.
“I feel like I can separate myself from them,” McFarland said. “There aren’t many backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield. I can be a receiver in the slot and return kicks.”
His coach tends to agree with McFarland. Competition won’t scare away the running back from any school.
“He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever been around,” DeMatha Catholic coach Elijah Brooks said. “He’s dangerous whenever he gets the ball in his hands. He can take it the distance.”
McFarland, who was invited to The Opening finals in July, said Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio State and Oklahoma were sticking out to him.
But those schools don’t have what Alabama has at head coach in Nick Saban.
“He’s like a god,” McFarland said of Saban. “It’s an honor to talk to him. For him to always want to reach out to me, I feel like that’s a good sign. He’s one of the best college football coaches ever.”
McFarland said he plans on releasing a top 15 list at some point this summer. You can expect Alabama to make the cut when he starts narrowing his college choices.
He is rated as the nation’s No. 3 all-purpose running back and is the state of Maryland’s No. 1 prospect.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.