It was obvious that Mario Pender was a national talent when watching him on film. He is a running back out of Cape Coral (FL) Island Coast that displays great balance, good vision, the wiggle it takes to make guys miss, and the speed needed to be a homerun threat. Pender committed to Florida State very early in the process and Eddie Gran and the Noles have landed another elite back in their home state. Island Coast Head Coach Joe Bowen knows what has taken his back to this five-star level. "His maturity level has really taken his game to new heights this season," said Coach Bowen. "He used to think he had to score every time he touched the football. He would reverse the field, run backwards, and do all those sorts of things trying to hit the homerun with every carry, but now he understands how to be a true running back. "He knows five yards is a good run and that he does not have to go 80 yards each time he touches it. He would always try to make something out of nothing, but now he just understands the game, understands his position, and he has developed into a special player." Five yards a carry is nice, but Pender is averaging triple that this year, that’s right, three times that. So far this season, the 6-foot-0, 210 pound running back has just over 1,300 yards on 86 carries. He is averaging an astonishing 15.3 yards per carry. He also has 14 rushing touchdowns, so he is averaging a touchdown about once out of every six carries. Pender moved up just over 40 spots into the Top 50 and he is now the no. 44 prospect in America.Scout.com updates its recruiting rankings.