It has been a long time since UC entered a fall camp with the running back position already sorted out. Most of the issues with coaching this position group is figuring out a pecking order for the players. Who is the Alpha Dog, who are the complimentary players who gets what carries and when ect. That is sorted for UC before the season and it should make for a productive group. Since the turn of the millennium the Bearcats have rushed for 2,000 yards as team just once, in 2004. That was also the last time UC had 1,000 yard rusher when Richard Hall topped the mark. This year the potential is there for this group to break through that 2,000 yard barrier again. So lets meet the players.
23 - Isaiah Pead
Isaiah Pead is pretty much the unassailable starter in the backfield. He is a returning 1,000 yard rusher which is a relatively rare occurrence in these parts. Pead also has a chance to have back to back 1,000 yard seasons. The last Bearcat to do that was Reggie Taylor, the diminutive All American who actually pulled off the feat three years running. Everyone is expecting a big year from Pead, and with good reason. Afterall he is The Wonderman
The way I see it three guys will be in contention for the back up job. I expect all three of these guys to grab at least 50 carries through the course of the year.
10 - Darrin Williams
Williams is the elder statesmen amongst the back ups. He will be a red shirt Junior this year. He went down with an injury in the Oklahoma game and was out the rest of the year. In his four games though he racked up 144 yards and a couple of TD's. Williams is short, but he is more adept running inside than out.
Poteat is the most highly regarded running back to sign with UC. His style is more of a compliment to the slashing and dashing styles of the other three backs who I anticipate to be featured prominently. In high school he played in a more of a gap/power. UC is based more in the inside/outside zone read concepts. I don't anticipate that being a hold up for him, but it is a different feel for a running back and is something to watch.
I think that Teauge features in the offense pretty early. So does he, apparently. The difference between Teague and Poteat is that Akise has a skill set that translates well to this level. His short area quickness and outright speed enable the staff to just sort of work him in as needed. Whereas Poteat will probably need specific sets tailored to his ability to run inside with power. There are simply more was to fit Teauge into the game plan, not including kickoffs where I expect him to start.
32 - George Winn
Winn is a guy who has bounced around to several positions in his time as a Bearcat but has yet to stick at one of them. He is back at running back this year and I believe this marks his second stint at the positions. He has been a special teamer in the past, and more than likely will continue to contribute in that facet of the game.
29 - Adam Fearing
A walk on and formerly a wide receiver. He moved to RB in the spring.
Ralph David Abernathy IV
A quarkback in every imaginable sense. In terms of size he is very similar to Teauge, but unlike Teague he doesn't have elite short area quickness. More than likely he takes a red shirt year to bulk up before joining the competition to replace Pead in 2012.
Pre Camp Position Rating: 8
Could be a 9. But as much as I love the incoming freshman, Teague in particular, going into fall camp expecting big contributions from freshman, regardless of talent level knocks things down a bit. I would argue that this is the second deepest position on the team behind the Defensive Line.