Scouting Nick Wilson, running back recruit

Why is Nick Wilson so highly rated? Derrell Warren examines.

Nick Wilson is a consensus four-star recruit out of Fresno (Calif.) Central East High School. He has great size for a running back at 5'11, 195 pounds, and has drawn interest from nearly every major program on the West Coast and beyond.

Wilson rushed for 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior in 2012, and is rated as one of the top 25 running backs in the country by every major recruiting service, including as high as 15 by 247Sports. He's also generally seen as one of the top 25 overall prospects in the talent-rich state of California.

Wilson has offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Oregon State, Tennessee, Washington, Washington State, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, among others. As of late July, he is committed to Arizona.

Derrell Warren, West Coast recruiting analyst:

Wilson is a back who carries nice size and runs downhill. He is an efficient mover that doesn't waste a ton of lateral motion. He's not what you would classify as a cutback runner, preferring to stay play-side on the majority of his runs. But, he will press the hole and bounce outside in order to gain the edge.

Although he needs a bit of space, Wilson can create yards on his own once he gets to second level. He plays with good balance and body control. This attribute shows up in his ability to stick his foot in the ground and redirect. He doesn't need to gather his frame, nor does he telegraph cuts by taking "baby steps" prior to changing direction. He demonstrates nice burst out of his cuts as well.

Wilson has good, but not exceptional, long-speed. He won't simply out-sprint collegiate defenders to the end zone on a consistent basis. He will register his share of 10-15 yard runs, however, and create the occasional big run due to his burst through the hole and creativity once he gets out into space.

In the passing game he carries the frame to hold up in pass protection. As a receiver he shows reliable hands, but will have to expand his route a bit in order to be a more consistent threat.

Wilson profiles as really good foundation back for an offenses running game. His game as a whole compares favorably with former Washington Huskies running back Chris Polk.

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