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Purdue Football: What Happens at Running Back?

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A major injury has left us young.

Northwestern v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welp, it seems as if Tario Fuller will be out for an extended period of time. It was reported that he was hurt in the scrimmage this past weekend. With kickoff less than two weeks away, Purdue is left young and inexperienced at the running back position.

To me, the guys left on the roster can contribute and still be pretty good. We have King Doerue (Frosh), Alfred Armour (Walk On RS Frosh), Richie Worship (5th year), Zander Horvath (Walk On Sophomore), Da’Joun Hewitt (Freshman).

If you are checking, the person with the most experience from that list is Richie Worship, who has not played since 2017 and still may not play until mid-season this year.

Then, next in line in terms of experience is Zander Horvath, a fan favorite, who had 9 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown last season.

So, there is just not a bunch of experience, or healthy experience I guess I should say.

Inevitably, the freshmen will play and play a bunch - after losing Evan Anderson this off-season (transfer), we lost depth, Hewitt and Doerue will be forced into action - early and often.

Here are my thoughts on each back heading into week 1, sans Tario Fuller.

Da’Joun Hewitt

Hewitt is an all-around back. The 3 star out of Nashville, Tennessee was a monster in high school. As we all know, the B1G is a different animal. Hewitt has been one of the players Coach Brohm has been happiest with, in terms of being a newcomer.

Expect Hewitt to play a bunch - I see him in more of a third down back type of role. He may be our best receiving back we have on roster now that Tario is our for the foreseeable future. As long as he can figure out pass pro, I would think he will be on the field.

King Doerue

Many think that King is a power back that can only run between the tackles - that just is not true. King can run away in the open field, but he can also run between the tackles. While I do not think he is the same level as Hewitt is on terms of receiving, he is just as good if not better with running the ball.

King is a powerful back, but does not lack speed. Think of the young Markell Jones, where he pulled away from people on the second level, but had the strength to run between the tackles.

Zander Horvath

Zander, the walk on from Mishawaka, Indiana looks like a monster. I would be fine going into a game with him as the starter - on early downs. He is capable of catching the ball, but I am more comfortable with Hewitt catching passes.

Zander is in at 6-2, 230 Pounds now and is our best runner between the tackles, look for Zander to be the starter early on this season while the young guys get caught up to speed. Zander was once a walk on fullback, but has made himself into a player that is reliable and versatile.

Richie Worship

The lost man. Richie tore his ACL mid 2017 season and has never came back from it. The coaches are saying mid-season he may be ready to go, but after missing two years, how ready will he be?

I miss Richie, in year one of the Brohm era, he was doing it all, the 6’, 250 Pound back was a monster. I am not sure what went on with the rehab, but it has taken much too long.

Alfred Armour

Armour will be used mostly as a fullback in blocking situations. The walk on from Warren Central, Indianapolis, Indiana squats over 600 pounds and is an absolute monster in the weight room. He is also just a giant human being.

So, what would my depth chart be come Friday, August 30th? Not that it matters but this is how I would roll it out..

  1. Zander Horvath
  2. King Doerue
  3. Da’Joun Hewitt - 3rd Down Back
  4. Alfred Armour - Fullback

While being young and inexperienced, this is a talented group that can be solid for the 2019 season - then serious help is coming in 2020 - Tirek Murphy.