New MEARS Running Back Speed Standards! By Super Scout Max Emfinger

RB Christine Michael is the New #1 Rated Running Back

By Super Scout Max Emfinger

For about 14 Years, I have been Rating and Ranking the High School and College Football Players with my MEARS RATING System, that I developed just after leaving the Dallas Cowboys in 1976. In all of those years, I have Tweaked the Rating System a few times, but the Standard MEARS Formula has never changed.

This MEARS RATING SYSTEM or a similar type rating system is very important for the NFL Scouts, and the NFL Scouting Combine is the first time that “Accurate Numbers” are recorded on these players. It’s easy to say someone can run a 4.4 or a 4.3 in the Forty, but before an Accurate Hand-Held Timing by a Professional Scout or either by a slower, but Accurate Laser Timing is done, most Forty times are less than Accurate. Technique is also very important and that is why College Football Players entering the NFL Draft will hire a Sports Trainer to train and teach them how to do a Vertical Jump, Pro-Agility Shuttle, and a Standing Broad Jump.

Before I implemented my MEARS RATING SYSTEM in 2001, I decided that I needed to Tweak it a little more and so I asked one of my old friends to help.

Max, we have got to set a Medium Standard for each position for every Measurable that we test at a Super Combine,” said Legendary University of Nebraska Strength Coach Boyd Epley; and then we worked on setting Medium Standards for each position. “The Medium Standard for an Offensive Tackle, for example, has been 6-5 and 275 for twenty-five years and although the players are getting bigger, stronger, and faster, we don’t need to keep changing the Medium Standard, said Coach Epley, “but our Ratings will continue to get higher as the players will achieve to get bigger, stronger, and faster.”

So each position has a Medium Standard for each Measurable. In all of the Speed Measurables, a player will get plus points for every tenth of a second over the Position Standard, but a Maximum of 400-Points. The Vertical Jump will have a Maximum of 300-Points; while the Bench Press Reps will have a Maximum of 200 Points.

In 2010, I decided to watch the NFL Scouting Combine on NFL TV and I enjoyed it so much, I decided to Rate and Rank all of the College Players at the Scouting Combine with my MEARS RATING. One of the reasons that I got excited was because two of the 2010 College Scouting Combine Players played in my 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, including OT Trent Williams of Oklahoma and DT Lamarr Houston of Texas.

Trent Williams Received the 400 Maximum Points in both Speed Measurables with a 4.88 Forty and a 4.63 Pro Shuttle; plus he recorded a 34-Inch Vertical Jump, giving him 200-Points. Leon Sandcastle recorded Maximum Points for his Vertical Jump and Forty.  Although he did not run a Shuttle, I gave him a Max 400-Points. Williams played Left Offensive Tackle for the West Team in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic.

Lamarr Houston had a pretty sensational Measurables Day at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and his Stock continued to be on the Rise as he “Wowed” the NFL Scouts with a 4.74 Forty while weighing 305-pounds and he was eventually given a 4.84 Forty as his Official Time. Houston also recorded a 33.5 Vertical Jump and a 4.71 Pro-Shuttle which is pretty impressive for a 305-pound player.

During the Scouting Combine Drills, Houston also was  impressive as he he stood out by showing tremendous Athleticism with his terrific movement skills. I will never forget picking Houston up at the Shreveport Greyhound Bus Station in 2006, about six days before our 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic. In that game, Houston played some at Tight End, but the Defensive Coaches got to use him a lot more than the Offensive Coaches. After the game, I took him back to the Bus Station and I have been following his career ever since.

I have been working on my All-Time Hot-100 Players for the Last Five NFL Scouting Combines and I have come upon a few very intriguing players. One player is Taylor Mays. I had him Rated as one of the Top High School Safeties in the Country when he came out of High School and we watched him become one of the top College Safeties in the Country at Southern Cal. Then he came to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and recorded some Mind-Boggling Measurements, including a 4.31 Forty while weighing 230-pounds; does an unbelievable 41-Inch Vertical Jump; and a 125 Standing Broad Jump. Mays actually ran a 4.24 Forty in that 2010 Scouting Combine. So now, I thought that he would have been one of the first players to go in that 2010 NFL Draft. I was shocked that he went in the Second Round, but after talking to some NFL Scouts, some Scouts felt that since he had not done as well, in the Drills, as they thought that he should have, it probably hurt him.

In that 2010 Scouting Combine, there were Seven Players who originally recorded a 2,000 MEARS RATING, including Trent Williams and Lamarr Houston; plus FS Taylor Mays of Southern Cal; SS Eric Berry of Tennessee; RB Ben Tate of Auburn; RB C.J. Spiller of Clemson; and TE Jimmy Graham of Miami.

This year, at my Tenth Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic, all of my Players were Rated and Ranked in order, by Team, on my Big Board in the Hotel Lobby. After the first couple of practices, some of my Coaches would come to me and recommend that certain players on the Big Board be “Upgraded” to the next Ranking or Color in the Color-Coded MEARS Rating System.

So I decided to Tweak the MEARS RATING System, one more time. I decided to give a 50-Point Bonus to all the players who needed to be Re-Rated-Up to the Next Level, but with a Maximum 100-Points and with this new Tweak, all of the College Players in their NFL Scouting Combines have been Re-Rated with this 100-Point Bonus.

For a few years, I have thought that the Running Back Measurable Standards might  be a little too high and might need to be Tweaked to similar Quarterback Standards, because the Great Running Backs, just like the Great Quarterbacks do not do well at The NFL Scouting Combine. Many times, the Great Running Backs are coming off a knee or leg injury or just “Dinged-Up” during a terrific Football Bowl Season and they just can’t perform at 100%. For this reason, they also decide not to perform at the NFL Scouting Combines. RB Emmitt Smith might have been one of the First Running Backs in this category, but RB Mark Ingram of Alabama was another, and RB Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic; RB Trent Richardson of Alabama; RB Eddie Lacy of Alabama; and RB Carlos Hyde of Ohio State are some others.

Mark Ingram of Alabama was a 2009 Heisman Trophy Winner who led his Crimson Tide to the National Championship and he was  coming off of a Knee Injury and he ran a 4.62 Forty at the Scouting Combine, and then was a #1 Draft Choice by the New Orleans Saints.

Ingram set an Alabama Single-Season School Rushing Record that year with 1,658-Yards Rushing in the National Championship Season that Ended in a 37-21 Championship Game Victory over Lamarr Houston and the Texas Longhorns.
Ingram was Sensational in that game, as he was all season, as he rushed for 116-Yards and Two Touchdowns.

Then in 2012, RB Trent Richardson of Alabama was getting over a Knee Injury, did not run in the NFL Scouting Combine, and was a #1 Draft Choice of the Browns; and then in 2013, RB Eddie Lacy of Alabama had a hurt knee and did not run at the Scouting Combine, but ran a 4.64 Forty at Alabama Pro-Day and was a #2 Draft Choice of the Packers.

Back in 2007, a young Running Back from Pensacola Pine Forest showed-up at our All-American Bowl Game in Shreveport, Louisiana without any Scholarship Offers. He was not real big or real fast, but he was real good. He Scored a Touchdown on both sides of the Football and then ran the Second Half Kickoff back for a  Touchdown.

After the game, Alfred Morris Committed to Florida Atlantic and five years later, he showed-up at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine and ran a 4.56 Forty and a 4.16 Pro-Shuttle. His Forty was not Spectacular, but his Pro-Schuttle, demonstrating his Great Quickness, just like Mark Ingram and Emmitt Smith, was Outstanding. Morris was Drafted in the Sixth Round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins who had Drafted Robert Griffin as their #1 Draft Choice. Oh Yes! The Redskins had the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year, but it was not Griffin.

Last December, Alfred Morris, after winning 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year, rushed for 88-Yards against the Dallas Cowboys and passed both Heisman Trophy Winners, RB Eddie George and RB Billy Sims; plus Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders for Ninth Place for the most Rushing Yards in the his First Two NFL Seasons.

Then during the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, my Good Friend, Tim Brando, of the CBS Sports Network, interviewed Former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame RB Emmitt Smith about the importance of the NFL Scouting Combines. “It’s an exciting week, but it’s also a very stressful week,” Smith said. “It’s very hard to train and prepare and go up to Indianapolis and run your best Forty Time, when you’re just coming off of a Bowl Season and you have about four or five weeks to actually get yourself physically ready to go up there and do your best, but you want to go up there and give your best showing.”

“I didn’t want to risk running my Forty in the cool air of the dome in Indianapolis so I went through the physical and all the other tests and then scheduled to run my Forty for the  University of Florida Pro-Day,” said Smith.

Smith, like many other Great Running Backs, never ran a fast Forty so he encourages NFL Teams to look at all of the Running Back stats and his Game Film that tell the Complete and Real Story of the Player. Also, a lot of Great Running Backs get “Dinged-Up” during the course of a Bowl-Season and they just can’t perform at 100%.

Another observation that Smith made was that of the Running Back Competition and how the NFL Teams should Evaluate them. Smith agreed with Brando that the value of Running Backs isn’t what it used to be and as the Running Back Competition becomes greater in such a Quarterback-Driven League, each NFL Team needs to be really sold on the Running Back and sometimes his Measurables do not tell the real and complete story on the ability of the Great Running Backs.

This should demonstrate why Running Backs need to have Similar Speed Measurable Standards as the Quarterbacks. Even if a Running Back records Sensational Speed Measurables, he is still only going to receive the Maximum 400 Points in both the Forty and Pro-Shuttle. Maybe with lesser Speed Standards, some Freaky Running Backs still would have incredible MEARS RATINGS, but with the New Standards, that is still exactly where they need to be.

In 2010, Ben Tate of Auburn got Maximum Speed Points in The Forty, Pro-Shuttle, and Vertical Jump and recorded a sensational 2,290 MEARS RATING.

In the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Christine Michael of Texas A&M recorded some Incredible Speed Measurables and he is a great Example of a Running Back with Great Speed Measurables. Michael (5-10, 220, 4.4, 43, 4.02, 125) was a #2 Draft Choice of the Seahawks, but he was also their First Selection. When Michael was Drafted by the Seahawks, he was the Number One Rated Player on the Seahawks Draft Board. In 2013, Michael recorded a Great 2,125 MEARS RATING, but if we Change the 4.6 Forty Standard to a 4.8 Forty Standard and make it a Two-Tenth Slower Medium Standard for a Running Back, he Recorded an even better 2,485 MEARS RATING. The amazing thing for Michael was that he received the Maximum Points for Four Events, including The Forty, Vertical Jump, Pro-Shuttle, and Bench Press. Robert Griffin is the only other Player to ever do that Trick.

In 2010, C.J. Spiller of Clemson was one of the most electrfying football players in the country and he was also Spectacular at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine as he recorded an outstanding 2,120 MEARS RATING, but after new Speed Standards, he now has an even more Spectacular 2,200 MEARS RATING,  with an unbelievable 4.26 Forty; a 4.16 Pro-Shuttle; and a 126 Standing Broad Jump. Spiller also added 18 Reps on the 225 Bench Press.

RB Demarco Murray of Oklahoma already had a great 2,080 MEARS RATING, but he moved to a Sensational 2,306 MEARS RATING, with Maximum Speed Points in the Forty and Pro-shuttle; plus 120 Points on the Bench Press.

Also in 2014! Lache Seastrunk Baylor (5-9 201 4.44 41.5 4.24 134 15) moved from a 2,125 MEARS RATING, to a 2,222 MEARS RATING, with an Outstanding 41.5 Vertical Jump; Maximum Speed Points in the Pro-Shuttle; plus one of the best, if not the best 134 Standing Broad Jump in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.

A lot of NFL Scouts felt that Seastrunk would be one the Fastest Running Backs, if not the Fastest, at the Scouting Combine, but he only ran a 4.44 Forty, but his Great Athleticism in the Vertical Jump and Standing Broad Jump was noted by all of the NFL Scouts.

The biggest Surprise of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine was a Running Back named Jerrick McKinnon of Georgia Southern. McKinnon recorded not only some Incredible Measurables for this Scouting Combine, but his 2,438 MEARS RATING was one of the Best Ever for an NFL Scouting Combine. McKinnon was given a Legit 4.4 Forty; did an outstanding 40.5 Vertical Jump; a 4.12 Pro-Shuttle; did an outstanding 132 Standing Broad Jump, just behind Seastrunk; and had an unbelievable 32 Reps on the 225-Pound Bench Press, giving him the Maximum 200 Points in the Bench Press.

One of the most interesting Running Backs in the 2014 NFL Draft will be Carlos Hyde of Ohio State. Hyde is a Bruising Running Back who runs over defenders and he is very well known by the NFL Scouts to make a lot yardage after he is has been initially hit. Hyde rushed for an amazing 1,527-Yards as a Senior and became the First Running Back for an Urban Meyer Team to rush for 1,000-Yards. Hyde also averaged a great 7.3-Yards Per Carry as a Senior.

With the New Medium Running Back Speed Standards, 2013 RB Michael Ford of LSU would record an unbelievable 2,420 MEARS RATING; 2010 RB Montario Hardesty of Tennessee would record a 2,350 MEARS RATING; 2012 RB Trent Richardson of Alabama would record a great 2,286 MEARS RATING; 2011 RB Jamie Harper of Clemson would record a 2,266 MEARS RATING; 2010 RB Toby Gerhart of Stanford would record a 2,252 MEARS RATING; 2011 RB Brandon Saine of Ohio State would record a 2,205 MEARS RATING; 2010 RB Joe McKnight of Southern Cal would record a 2,170 MEARS RATING; 2013 RB Le’Veon Bell of Michigan State would record an Excellent 2,140 MEARS RATING; 2011 RB Mark Ingram of Alabama would record a great 2,135 MEARS RATING; and 2014 RB Carlos Hyde of Ohio State would record a great 2,090 MEARS RATING.


#1 RB Christine Michael A&M 5-10 220 4.4 43 4.02 125 27 2,485 MEARS 2013
#2 RB Ben Tate Auburn         5-11 220 4.33 40.5 4.12 124 26 2,440 MEARS 2010
#3 RB Jerrick McKinnon GSU 5-9 209 4.4 40.5 4.12 132 32 2,438 MEARS 2014
#4 RB Michael Ford LSU         5-10 210 4.4 39.5 4.25 130 25 2,420 MEARS 2013
#5 AP Sam McGuffie Rice        5-10 200 4.36 42 3.93 134 26 2,370 MEARS 2013
#6 RB Montario Hardesty TN    6-0 225 4.44 41 4.14 124 21 2,350 MEARS 2010
#7 RB Latavious Murray UCF 6-2.5 223 4.39 36 4.36 124 22 2,336 MEARS 2013
#8 RB Bishop Sankey WASH    5-10 209 4.4 35.5 4.0 126 26 2,318 MEARS 2014
#9 RB Knile Davis Arkansas    6-0 227 4.32 33.5 4.12 121 31 2,311 MEARS 2013
#10 RB Demarco Murray OU   6-0 213 4.35 36.5 4.18 130 21 2,306 MEARS 2011
#11 RB Trent Richardson Ala    5-9 228 4.44 36 4.22 118 25 2,286 MEARS 2012
#12 AP Marquise Goodwin Texas  5-9 183 4.19 42 4.09 137  2,285 MEARS 2013
#13 RB Jamie Harper Clem   5-11 233 4.48 36.5 4.39 120 24 2,266 MEARS 2011
#14 AP Noel Devine WVA          5-8 174 4.39 35.5 4.25 121 24 2,255 MEARS 2011
#15 RB David Wilson VA Tech   5-10 206 4.36 41 4.12 132 – 2,252 MEARS 2012
#16 RB Toby Gerhart Stanford  6-0 231 4.48 38 4.25 118 22 2,252 MEARS 2010
#17 AP Dri Archer Kent St           5-8 173 4.26 38 4.06 122 20 2,230 MEARS 2014
#18 RB Lache Seastrunk BAY 5-9 201 4.44 41.5 4.24 134 15  2,222 MEARS 2014
#19 RB Kendall Hunter OK ST    5-7 199 4.44 35 4.21 122 24 2,210 MEARS 2011
#20 RB Kendial Lawrence MO     5-9 194 4.33 37 4.13 125 19 2,205 MEARS 2013
#20 RB Brandon Saine Oh St 5-11 220 4.36 34.5 4.25 113 22  2,205 MEARS 2011
#22 RB C.J. Spiller Clemson       5-11 196 4.26 36 4.16 126 18 2,200 MEARS 2010
#23 RB Shane Vereen Cal            5-10 210 4.44 34 4.28 115 31 2,195 MEARS 2011
#24 RB Zac Stacy Vanderbilt        5-9 216 4.47 33 4.17 122 27 2,192 MEARS 2013
#25 RB Charles Sims WVA          6-0 214 4.44 37.5 4.3 126 17  2,188 MEARS 2014
#26 RB Kenjon Barner ORE        5-9 196 4.37 35.5 4.14 122 20 2,180 MEARS 2013
#26 AP Trindon Halliday LSU    5-5 166 4.21 42 4.28 116 10  2,180 MEARS 2010
#27 RB Joe McKnight USC          6-0 198 4.37 36.5 4.17 120 18 2,170 MEARS 2010
#28 RB Brandon Bolden Miss 5-11 222 4.52 38 4.32 119 21     2,169 MEARS 2012
#29 RB Le’Veon Bell Mich St    6-2 230 4.52 31.5 4.24 118 24  2,140 MEARS 2013
#29 RB Henry Josey Missouri   5-8 194 4.37 34.5 4.13 118 20  2,140 MEARS 2014
#31 RB Ryan Williams VA Tech  5-9 212 4.54 40 4.18 123 19 2,139 MEARS 2011
#32 RB Jay Finley Baylor         5-11 203 4.49 39.5 4.36 132 14  2,136 MEARS 2011
#33 RB Mark Ingram Alabama 5-9 215 4.53 34.5 4.42 117 25 2,135 MEARS 2011
#34 RB George Atkinson ND          6-1 218 4.48 38 4.46 121 19 2,131 MEARS 2014
#35 AP Derrick Locke KY             5-8 188 4.33 37.5 4.15 118 16 2,120 MEARS 2011
#36 RB Andre Williams BC              5-11 230 4.52 38 4.06 129  2,115 MEARS 2014
#37 RB Tre Mason Auburn           5-8 207 4.46 38.5 4.15 125 –  2,114 MEARS 2014
#38 AP Chris Rainey Florida     5-8 180 4.32 36.5 3.93 12016  2,110 MEARS 2012
#39 AP Onterio McCalebb Auburn 5-19 168 4.24 37 4.22 121 2,105 MEARS 2013
#40 RB Lamar Miller Miami         5-11 212 4.32 35.5 4.08 120  2,104 MEARS 2012
#41 RB Edwin Baker Mich St        5-8 204 4.42 35 4.31 111 20  2,103 MEARS 2012
#42 RB Stevan Ridley LSU            5-11 225 4.56 36 4.17 118 21  2,090 MEARS 2011
#42 RB Carlos Hyde Ohio State      6-0 235 4.6 34.5 4.4 114 19 2,090 MEARS 2014
#42 RB Tyler Gaffney Stanford       6-0 220 4.44 36.5 4.18 116 2,090 MEARS 2014
#43 RB Damien Berry Miami   5-10 211 4.53 33.5 4.12 120 23  2,082 MEARS 2011
#44 AP Tavon Austin WVA          5-9 174 4.24 36 4.01 120 14    2,080 MEARS 2013
#45 AP LaMichael James ORE     5-8 194 4.32 35 4.12 123 15   2,075 MEARS 2012
#46 AP Giovani Bernard UNC   5-9 202 4.46 33.5 4.12 122 19   2,064 MEARS 2013
#47 RB Vick Ballard Miss St 5-10 219 4.54 33 4.19 115 23          2,063 MEARS 2012
#48 RB JaHvid Best Cal                5-10 199 4.31 32.5 4.17 118 18 2,060 MEARS 2010
#49 RB Eddie Lacy Alabama 5-11 231 4.56 35.5 4.44 115 20      2,057 MEARS 2013
#50 RB Alfred Morris Fla Atl      5-10 219 4.56 35.5 4.16 117 16 2,053 MEARS 2012


About maxemfingerrecruiting

My mission and goal is to search for that hidden high school football talent that has not been found yet. I then evaluate him and try to help him to get some publicity. In 2003, 2004, 2005. and 2006, I hosted my Annual 7on7 National Championship. My goal was to get great athletes to one area where I could evaluate them and then help them with college coaches. The only drawback was that college coaches wanted to see the hidden gems in a game-type highlight film and so the college coaches suggested to me that I host a real All-American Bowl Game so that they could view these talented players in a highlight film, playing against other talented players. It's noted that the NCAA doesn't allow the college coaches to attend All-American Games or practices and so the Game Film is a great tool for the college coaches. In 2005, I hosted my 1st Annual All-American Bowl Game. In nine games in nine years, my wife and I have helped 549 HS football players to get a scholarship that came to our first Bowl Game practice without a single scholarship offer. This also does not count over 1,000 players who we have helped that did not play in our game, including over 100 players in the 2010 Recruiting Season. My Super Elite Top Gun Camp idealogy, is of course, to get as many Top Football Players to a Top Gun Camp so that all of my coaches and I can evaluate them, rate them, rank them, and promote them. There will always be "Diamonds in the Rough" to be found. My First Annual Max Emfinger's Super Elite Top Gun Camp was in July of 2010. The Camp was amazing and loaded with unknown and known talent. Many of them were invited to play in our 2011 All-American Bowl Game Classic. In 2007, in my 3rd Annual All-American Bowl Game, a player by the name of Kareem Jackson came to our first Monday practice, without a single scholarship offer. Jackson decided to come out early and he became a #1 Draft Choice in the 2010 NFL Draft for the Houston Texans.
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