February 24, 2008

Texas back gets interest from Minnesota

The recruiting season is just getting going for many 2009 prospects and Eric Stephens is a player that should have several offers down the line. At this point the shifty back has yet to receive his first offer, but that may be soon to change.

"Actually I talked to Minnesota and they said they're going to offer me next," Stephens said. "I called the running backs coach out there."

Though Minnesota has been attempting to establish a strong presence in the state of Texas, Stephens out of Mansfield (Texas) Timberview doesn't know much about the program to date.

"I don't know a lot about them but I'm fixing to find out a lot a bout them," he said. "Minnesota is so far away, I really didn't think they knew who I was. They weren't really on the radar. But I'm willing to leave the state and I'm open to any schools. It's just whatever fits me best."

Stephens grew up a fan of the Longhorns but has his eye on a few other programs as well.

"As a kid I liked Texas," he said. "Now I'm really liking LSU and Oklahoma. I'm still liking Texas but I'm also liking schools like Texas A&M and TCU. I like them because they run the ball."

As a junior, Stephens had an incredibly productive season rushing for just under 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns with a 9.4 yards per carry average. Despite all of that, Stephens still sees room for improvement.

"I'm going to try to become more physical," he said. "A lot of people say I'm a scat back which, there's nothing wrong with that, but if I'm gonna be a scat back I want to be able to be a physical back too. I've actually gained weight. I'm up to 180. I want to work on running down hill instead of lateral and just being more physical."

Despite his focus on becoming more physical, don't expect the speed to suffer for the running back. Stephens recently ran in his first track meet where he competes in the 100, the 4x100, the high jump and the long jump.

"I can feel myself getting faster," he said. "Right now I'm really working on that transition in the 100. I'm great off the start, I'm just working on that finish."

Stephens currently runs a 10.9 in the 100 but has a goal of hitting 10.7 by the end of track season and possibly getting into the 10.6 range.

As of now, Stephens has plans to attend two combines including the Nike Combine in Dallas on March 8.





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