football Edit

Aquinas sophomore one to watch

Branden Rankins averaged 8.6 yards per carry and scored 36 touchdowns as a prep underclassman.
Branden Rankins averaged 8.6 yards per carry and scored 36 touchdowns as a prep underclassman.

Branden Rankins will undoubtedly add more offers down the road, but for now, the Class of 2018 running back prospect from San Bernardino (Calif.) Aquinas has just one early offer from Colorado.

Rankins, who stands 5-foot-10, 195-pounds, put up video game like numbers during his sophomore season, rushing for 2,115 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman on varsity.

“Colorado actually offered me after my freshman season,” Rankins said. “I didn't expect to get offered so young in my career, so it made me see things differently. I always had the dream of playing college football so to know that it is a reality is a great feeling.”

Although the Buffaloes coaches are limited in the type of contact they can have with Rankins at this early stage, he has had a chance to do some research on the first program to offer him a scholarship.

“They have a good overall program at Colorado,” he said. “I like how they try to be balanced on offense by having both a strong passing game and a strong running game.”

Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame and Arizona State have shown some early interest in Rankins. He hopes to hear from USC, Florida, Florida State and Stanford as his recruiting process progresses.

“A big part of me wants to stay close to home, but I am also open to the idea of leaving and kind of discovering who I am,” he said. “Whether I stay close or leave, I want to go somewhere that has good people, a family environment, and a college that is good in the Medical field.”

Rankins was one of the top six running backs at a Nike The Opening event earlier this spring. He was a first-team all-league honoree last fall.

“I don't run east and west, I run north and south when I run the ball. I think that is my best attribute as a running back,” he said.