A top 10 is hardly cutting down the list to only a few favorites, but four-star running back George Pettaway has more than 30 offers so it’s a significant cut.
The Suffolk (Va.) Nansemond Suffolk Academy standout has trimmed his list to Michigan, Ole Miss, Florida, Virginia Tech, Alabama, North Carolina, Auburn, Oregon, Virginia and Penn State and there are definitely some schools that seem to have an edge at this point.
In today’s Ranking The Contenders, we take a look at Pettaway’s top 10 and determine which programs have the best shot at landing him as visits are about to start happening in the coming weeks.
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1. VIRGINIA TECH
There does not seem to a clear frontrunner right now, but Virginia Tech is very high on the list because of his relationship with the coaching staff and the fact that one of his best friends, OL Griffin Duggan, is going to play for the Hokies as a preferred walk-on. Also, the opportunity to get on the field quickly is there.
Pettaway has not yet scheduled an official visit to Blacksburg, even though he has trips to Penn State and Michigan, so that could be a concern, but Virginia Tech is high on the list.
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2. PENN STATE
Penn State was the first official visit Pettaway set and that’s going to give the Nittany Lions an advantage in his recruitment, even though the four-star running back will see Michigan first in June.
Still, Pettaway’s relationship with the Penn State coaching staff is strong and the Nittany Lions are focusing on running backs in this class. Penn State is one of his bigger offers, and that will carry a lot of weight as a decision gets closer.
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There are numerous reasons why Pettaway has North Carolina high on the list and maybe the biggest one is his relationship with assistant coach Dre Bly. Running backs coach Larry Porter is also on Pettaway.
The Tar Heels had two running backs rush for more than 1,000 yards last season and that has certainly caught the four-star’s attention as well.
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Assistant coach Jay Harbaugh recruited Pettaway early. Running backs coach Mike Hart has taken over and the four-star seems to like how it’s going. Pettaway’s first official visit is to Ann Arbor in the middle of June and if things go really well then Michigan could move way higher up the list.
Donovan Edwards might be the future of Michigan’s backfield but lots of guys get carries for the Wolverines and Pettaway could be one of them.
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Florida has really stepped it up recently with Pettaway as coach Dan Mullen and position coach Greg Knox are making regular contact with the four-star receiver and they’ve described to him how they’d use him in the Gators’ offense.
Running the ball more is something Pettaway wants to see and it could be coming in the fall. Mullen is an innovative play-caller who knows how to get the ball to his playmakers and Pettaway likes seeing it.
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The Cavaliers were his first offer and now with more than 30 of them that could hold a little weight that the Virginia staff took a shot on the in-state prospect. Pettaway also has a great bond with running backs coach Mark Atuaia and likes how the Cavaliers would use him in the offense.
But there are some big boys involved right now with Pettaway and that might be tough to overcome.
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Ole Miss is making him a priority and that could be intriguing especially playing in coach Lane Kiffin’s offense, but others have been involved for much longer, so that will be an uphill climb for the Rebels.
There is no certainty that Pettaway will take an official visit to Oregon and things could change if that happens but for right now the Ducks look like a long shot.
Auburn and Alabama have Pettaway on the recruiting board, but it feels like other running backs are being more focused on at this point and so both would be down the list at this point.