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Purdue Football: Looking Ahead, Running Backs

We are starting to lose depth here, but the young guys will be good.

Purdue v Indiana Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Lets face it, we have been spoiled.

Markell Jones for four years, D.J. Knox for four years. Tario Fuller has seen action, Richie Worship. Alexander Horvath.

We have been spoiled at running back. While none have just been straight dominant backs, they all complimented one another, extremely well.

Markell and D.J. were balanced, could do it all. Tario is the finesse back. Richie will run you over, same with Horvath.

But now we lose our two most complete backs in D.J. Knox and Markell Jones. They treated us nicely.

Markell had 2594 yards for his career, along with 20 touchdowns. D.J. Knox had 1853 and 12 touchdowns, with 883 of those yards coming this season.

We will miss them, but we have to move on. So, what do we have in our stable of backs now? I am here to tell you.

Tario Fuller - 5th Year, 6’, 205 Pounds, Career Stats - 67 Carries, 325 Yards, 2 Touchdowns

Pros: Tario is a pretty well rounded back, injuries have plagued his career a bit. This season, he was coming off an injury, where he truly didn’t recover until late in the season, but by that time Markell and Knox already secured the job. Tario can catch passes and hit the perimeter home runs that this offense needs from the run game.

Cons: Pass pro was questionable at times in 2017 when he played before getting hurt. It was a new offense and the protection scheme may have been different, but we need that addressed, as we are a pass first team.

Prediction: Co-Starter for 2019

Richie Worship - 5th Year, 6’1”, 250 Pounds, Career Stats - 88 Carries, 390 Yards, 5 Touchdowns

Pros: Richie is a big powerful back that is best used between the tackles. At times in 2017, I thought he was the best back of the four. Richie never recovered from a new injury and it is feasible he could potentially get a 6th year if they try for it, as he lost an entire season due to injury. Richie was starting to show the ability to catch the ball as well. He is a good pass blocker as well.

Cons: He isn’t really a home run hitter, but will grind those short yardage plays out. He will not out run most linebackers to the perimeter, but he and Tario should compliment one another well.

Prediction: Co-Starter for 2019

Alexander Horvath - RS Sophomore, 6’3”, 230 Pounds, Career Stats - 9 Carries, 42 Yards, 1 Touchdown

Pros: Horvath is a big powerful walk-on back that is vital on special teams. He also was our blocking back at times this past season, helping in pass pro or helping spring Markell or Knox open, Horvath is a solid back and look like a Greek God according to Coach Barclay. Horvath had a great spring last year, as he was basically our only healthy back.

Cons: Not going to out run linebackers to the perimeter, but will grind yards out in between the tackles. Not great at running routes out of the backfield, but is serviceable.

Prediction: Blocking back and short yardage back for 2019.

Evan Anderson - RS Freshman, 6’1”, 205 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A

Pros: We haven’t seen Evan in action yet, but in high school he showed a great explosiveness and vision. He was under recruited out of Georgia, but Purdue found a diamond in the rough with Evan.

Cons: With not seeing him play last year or at practice, I cannot knock his game too much. From his high school film, he may need to improve on catching passes out of the back field.

Prediction: 3rd String For 2019

Da’Joun Hewitt - Freshman, 5’11, 190 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A, Senior Year - 2170 Yards, 39 Touchdowns

Pros: Homerun threat at anytime, best recruit out of Nashville this year. He can score ina blink of an eye. His open field runaway speed is notable and always seemed to be the best athlete in high school.

Cons: Will need to get stronger for a Big Ten schedule to be better at pass blocking, his film showed very little blocking skills, but in our offense we ask our backs to do it quite often.

Prediction: Redshirt for 2019

King Doerue - Freshman, 6’, 205 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A, Senior Year - 1356 Yads, 21 Touchdowns

Pros: Big strong back with a body that is ready for the Big Ten already. But, he will need a year to learn as the game is much faster in the Big Ten. he is a powerful between the tackles back and blocks pretty well for an incoming back.

Cons: While he pulled away from the competition in high school, not sure he has that home run perimeter speed that Hewitt has, King reminds me a bit of Markell Jones in term of vision and being able to run in between the tackles.

Prediction: Redshirt for 2019

The running backs for 2019 should be solid. We have a great mixture of speed, power and blocking ability that could lead to mostly a three headed monster. I am looking forward to seeing how Coach Barclay and Coach Brohm use these guys in the upcoming season!