Justice Haynes proves he is a complete 5-Star running back
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Alabama football’s running back commit, Justice Haynes has proven he is worthy of a five-star rating, and he is indeed one of the most complete running back prospects in the country during a short time at Buford High School.
Before transferring to Buford, Haynes was a standout running back at Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell, Georgia. He put up impressive numbers throughout his time at Blessed Trinity, rushing for more than 5,500 yards and 72 touchdowns though three seasons. The combination of balance, vision, burst and natural feel for the position he displayed as a junior prompted us here at Touchdown Alabama to give the Tide pledge a five-star rating in our own independent recruiting rankings, where we only rate and rank prospects verbally committed to Alabama.
Haynes rushed for 2,375 yards and 29 touchdowns on 275 carries in 2021. He also flashed as a receiver out of the backfield by pulling in 10 receptions for 136 yards and two scores.
I went into my first live game viewing well aware of the multiple strengths of Haynes’ game but was blown away by how complete he truly is.
Buford’s first regular season game pitted them up against a stingy and tough Thompson High School defense, which features two five-star recruits in Peter Woods and Tony Mitchell. At first glance, Haynes passes the eye test at 5-foot-10 and approximately 200 pounds, but we were aware of his stature after watching him at the Under Armor Next Camp in Atlanta in February.
In a game that was a defensive slugfest early on, Haynes did get off to a slow start, which is understandable when you are going up against a defensive line led by Woods. While Buford’s offense struggled to gain momentum, Haynes caught my eye with how natural he looked while protecting his quarterback as an extra blocker. His most impressive moment in pass protection came when he was tasked with blocking an unblocked Woods.
The Clemson commit quickly evaded Buford’s center after the snap and made his way into the backfield. Haynes was able to slow down Woods by throwing an impressive block, which allowed his quarterback a few more seconds to get the ball off.
Digging into some Buford Thompson film and this play definitely stands out.
Alabama’s 5-Star RB commit, Justice Haynes @justicehaynes6 showed he was the complete package yesterday.
Watch how he blocks in pass protection. @TDAlabamaMag @TDARecruiting pic.twitter.com/ggJuRI69bw
— Justin Smith (@Jdsmith31Smith) August 20, 2022
Haynes was equally impressive at knowing when to turn himself from a blocker to a safety valve for his quarterback. He only had one reception against Thompson, but in Buford’s pre-season jamboree, he ripped off a score after catching the football on a screen play.
Alabama 5-Star RB commit, Justice Haynes showing his hands out of the backfield.
Video via @lukewinstel
— Touchdown Alabama Recruiting (@TDARecruiting) August 13, 2022
Haynes’ biggest play against Thompson broke the game wide open for the Wolves. After the Warriors finally got on the board to make the score 17-7, Haynes ripped off a 97-yard kick return. The Alabama commit used his elite vision to find open space, and his elusiveness to cut back across the field to get to it.
Welcome back to the @justicehaynes6 show!
The #Alabama commit goes NINETY-SIX YARDS to the house for a kickoff return touchdown.
The 4⭐️ finds a way to make game-changing plays. @buford_football leads 24-7.@TDARecruiting @RecruitGeorgia @BufordGAPrspcts @VerronHaynes pic.twitter.com/bpvGkpUdti
— Luke Winstel (@lukewinstel) August 20, 2022
Haynes’ first regular season game was wrapped up with a 39-yard rushing score, where he evaded his future teammate, Tony Mitchell, at the line of scrimmage with a nasty juke move, displaying his ability to make moves on defenders at the line of scrimmage, but Haynes was not done yet. He split two defenders on the way to the endzone, showing his impressive contact balance.
After watching Haynes’ complete game against Thompson, the Alabama commit will remain rated as a five-star recruit in our own independent recruiting rankings, and he should be in the conversation to be the nation’s top running back.
Watch Justice Haynes Full Highlights Vs. Thompson Below:
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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith