Since Coach Brohm arrived, we had been pretty solid in the running game, up until last season. We started with a couple years of Markell Jones and D.J. Knox, both exceeded expectations in a pass first offense if you ask me, especially D.J. Knox.
The job was meant to be passed down with ease to Tario Fuller. Tario was the season opening starter for Coach Brohm in year one, until he hurt his knee, which lead to losing the rest of the season and essentially next.
2019 was supposed to be the year of Tario, but he broke his jaw in a freak accident at practice during a special teams drill.
So, forced into action was King Doerue, the true freshman and Zander Horvath, the burly walk on sophomore.
But, we can go ahead and put that 2019 rushing season behind us, as well, it just wan’t great. Behind a young OL we had young backs, which just isn’t a recipe for a great run game. As a team in 2019, we barely broke 1000 yards total rushing, in comparison in 2018, we were only a couple hundred yards off of 2,000 yards rushing.
But, we have a new season here and new dreams of correcting the run game. In which I have full faith will be corrected under Coach Brohm and Running Back Coach Chris Barclay.
Here is my shot in the dark Running Back Depth Chart:
- King Doerue - 5-10, 210 Pounds, Sophomore
- Zander Horvath - 6-3, 230 Pounds, Junior
- Da’Joun Hewitt - 5-10, 205 Pounds, RS Freshman
- Tirek Murphy - 6’, 220 Pounds, Freshman
- Alfred Armour - 6-1, 235 Pounds, Sophomore
- Rondale Moore - 5-9, 180 Pounds, Sophomore
- Marcellus Moore - 5-8, 170 Pounds, Freshman
Okay, so there it is and this is why I have these guys where they are at.
First of all, I love Tirek Murphy’s game and I think he could walk in and be an instant starter. He does lack a little bit of lateral quickness, but that is okay, because he makes up for it with his power run game and straight line speed. I do think we see him in all 4 games that is allowed to acclimate him a bit to the college game, but I think the goal will be to try and redshirt him and have him around for 5 years. Can you imagine him as a 5th year? My God.
King Doerue gets the nod as he finished strong down the stretch. If you weren’t impressed with him last year, first thing, he was a freshman that was expecting to redshirt, secondly, he was behind a bottome tier OL, those two things don’t mix well. I like his ability to run in between the tackles and off tackle as well.
Horvath is my number two mostly due to experience. At some point, we need to get older at positions, we cannot keep plugging young guys in, a 4th year junior like Horvath has been in a college weight program for a long time now and can match up with the other grown men of the Big Ten.
Hewitt was a bit disappointing in his limited action last season, but he comes in at number 3, he and Tirek could easily be switched. I do think Hewitt possesses a home run ability that the rest of the backfield lacks, he is probably the best athlete of the true backs.
From #5 thru #7 these are all kind of situational things. I think Armour is probably our “fullback” per say, as he could be a lead back for anyone. He is an absolute moose and one of the strongest players on the team.
The Moores I could see being used in situations. Rondale did have over 200 yards of rushing in his All-American Season in 2018. He probably would have added another 200 last year if it wasn’t for that injury.
For Marcellus, I am not sure. If he doesn’t redshirt, which I don’t think he will (Special Teams!) he could be used a Darren Sproles type of guy, start in backfield motion to the slot and pass the ball to him. I have him there simply for more depth and I see him more as a gadget type of player than a true Wide Receiver.
That is what I have for the running back depth chart though, where was I wrong at? What is your opinion on newcomer Tirek Murphy? Put it on me in the comments!