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Purdue Football: Running Back Depth Chart

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A shot in the dark here...

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

19 days away.

19!

Purdue Football is sneaking up on us and I couldn’t be more excited. As I watch College Football all weekend, I am ready to see what our Boilermakers can do in the Big Ten West later this month.

Last week, I wrote about the Quarterbacks and why I think Jack Plummer is the guy that will win the job. Today, we will take a look at running back, a position which has been ran by committee in years past, something that I think Coach Brohm and Coach Barlcay prefer.

  1. King Doerue - 5-10, 220 Pounds, Sophomore, 2019 Stats: 451 yards, 5 touchdowns, 128 yards receiving 2 touchdown receptions
  2. Zander Horvath - 6-3, 230 Pounds, Junior, 2019 stats: 79 carries, 377 yards, 2 touchdowns, 17 receptions, 142 yards, 1 touchdown
  3. Tirek Murphy - 5-10, 215 Pounds, Freshman
  4. Da’Joun Hewitt - 5-10, 205 Pounds, RS Freshman
  5. Alfred Armour - 6-1, 235 Pounds, Sophomore
  6. Henry Lewis - 5-10, 190 Pounds, RS Freshman (Track Athlete Walk On)

The backfield is finally starting to get a bit older. After a couple of seasons of having D.J. Knox and Markell Jones, Purdue has been young and inexperienced at the position.

While there is no senior in the backfield. Horvath is a 4th year junior, who averaged nearly 5 yards per carry last season. Doerue received more carries, but was closer to 4 yards per carry.

In the pass first Jeff Brohm offense, the backfield needs to produce in the touches that they get regardless of the situation. Both of those guys being around 4 yards per carry is a nice average. But, don’t think for a minue they won’t expand this committee.

In year one and two of the Jeff Brohm Era, we used three running backs, sometimes four. In 2017, we saw Tario Fuller, Richie Worship, Markell Jones and D.J. Knox before injuries occurred. In 2018, it was mostly Knox and and Jones. 2019, we saw Doerue and Horvath, as the senior Fuller was hurt most of the season.

But, who could be the third guy? Well, if you like a change of pace back, Hewitt is probably the best bet, as he appears to be the best receiving back of the group. But, the 4 star freshman, Tirek Murphy is not a bad choice either.

In a year where the players don’t lose a year of eligibility, do not be surprised to see this highly touted freshman class have a lot of guys play. Coach Brohm will want to see what they have early on and Tirek had plenty of excitement around him coming to campus.

If I had to put them in order, it would be how I have it above. But, truthfully, I see it more as a committee, 1A, 1B and 1C, with 1C to be determined.

However it pans out, the backfield will improve, as they are continuing to get older, stronger and understanding the expectations of running backs in the Jeff Brohm Offense.