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Cincinnati Prediction by Position: Running Backs

Hosey Williams returns, but is it already 2014 leading rusher Mike Boone's job to lose?

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Mike Boone finishes off a score against UCONN in 2014.
Mike Boone finishes off a score against UCONN in 2014.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, Hosey Williams plead guilty to a disorderly conduct, as well as three other UC players that were involved as well. 2014 was not exactly kind to Hosey, at all. After starting the season off with four touchdowns, including a nice game against Toledo, he suffered a knee injury and was ruled out for the entire season after only four games.

With that in mind, the leading rusher for 2014 ultimately became freshman, Mike Boone. Boone's 650-yard season wasn't anything too crazy, but he did accomplish that in only 9 games, and split time with then senior, Rodriguez Moore. Where Boone catches my eye is his incredible showing against South Florida where he rushed for 212 yards, plus a touchdown, and UC's impressive 7-2 record with him in the backfield.

Hosey Williams' three and a quarters worth of games lacked a coming out party. Aside from his 103 yards against Toledo, Hosey didn't impress much, finishing those 3.25 games without a touchdown. Most importantly, he only had 21 yards and 11 yards in his other two full games.

Williams' sophomore season was about the same as Moore's freshman season, except not as impressive, and he was one year older. According to, Hosey Williams only averaged 56.3 yards per game, and just four touchdowns in his twelve-game season in 2013. While Boone, in his freshman season, averaged 72 yards a game, and nine touchdowns in only nine games.

Williams is a smaller back, but runs mean. It's obvious in this highlight of him plowing over a Purdue defender. He uses a stiff arm exclusively, and he's an overall strong kid. The ongoing behavioral issues of UC players as a whole scare me, and since Williams was already a part of that, I still have reason to believe he may result to the same fate. Not to mention, an unhealthy knee isn't what you want from a starting running back, especially because of the likelihood that it comes back again.

Boone has one-inch, and six-pounds on Williams. Boone runs a little more lateral, and reads his blocks better than Williams. They're about equal in speed, but have two completely different running styles.

While most teams look for a true number one, this team has two feature backs that run so different that it really can turn into a perfect mix. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush were able to take the NFL by storm in 2013, so can Boone and Williams do it in 2015?

It's possible. In fact, it's highly likely. But, for the fun of competition, and the point of this series; I'll go with Mike Boone as a "true number one" for UC. He's younger, has better reads, is without an injury, doesn't have a misdemeanor, and with him in the backfield they're 7-2.

Check in to DTD throughout the week, as I break down each position leading up to the opener.

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @BrandonwJustice

2014 Running Back Highlights