Rashaad Penny recruit scouting report: Versatile athlete

Tom Hauck (Student Sports Photos)

The three-star running back is still trying to attract attention from power-conference schools.

Rashaad Penny is a consensus three-star running back from Norwalk High School in California. He has scholarship offers from Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State, San Jose State and Nevada. He has also received interest from several power-conference programs.

Penny stands 6'0, weighs 185 pounds and has been clocked running a 4.50 40-yard dash. All of the major recruiting services consider him a three-star prospect, though they disagree about where he ranks among other running backs.

The most optimistic of the bunch is 247Sports, which regards him as the 33rd-best RB in the 2014 class, but the others aren't far off. Rivals ranks him 44th among running backs, while Scout has him at No. 35. ESPN lists him as an athlete and ranks him 139th among that group.

Penny put together a tremendous senior season -- it took him just 10 games to rush for more than 1,700 yards.

You can follow him on Twitter right here.

Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst: Penny has good height at six feet. Although he has a somewhat slender build, he could still possibly max ­out at close to 200 pounds. One of the things that sticks out most about Penny is his versatility. He carries the ability to translate to several different skill positions which adds to his overall value as a recruit.

A coordinated athlete, Penny is a smooth mover who is light on his feet. As a running back he is a pick and slide style runner with jump­cut agility. He doesn't run between the tackles with the desired velocity and doesn’t look to possess the lower body strength need to consistently push the pile, nor the natural size you’d expect in runner who would handle a large volume of carries.

But Penny shows vision and instincts as an in-­line runner getting 'skinny' and sliding through smaller running lanes. He also does a nice job of using his feet to pick his way through traffic and create space for himself. On tape, there are several instances in which Penny takes the handoff, disappears into the line, and emerges at the second level after making multiple defenders miss in the hole.

Overall, the Penny’s best football trait might be his ball skills. He tracks the ball well and is an excellent leaper with body control and soft hands. He can consistently elevate, extend, and snatch the ball out of the air. As a running back he projects as more of a change of pace option. However, if he was to transition over the defensive side of the ball his short area quickness and aforementioned ball skills may equate to him having starter level upside as a free safety. He is an elite with leaping ability and body control. Has better quickness than long speed but has good agility. Good stop and start athlete who shows good elusiveness in the open field.

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