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The Cats
August 10th, 2017, 03:04 PM
5. Chattanooga
4. Mercer
3. Wofford
2. Western Carolina
1. The Citadel


http://www.southernpigskin.com/socon/socon-preseason-position-rankings-running-back/



Thoughts? Disagreements?

PaladinFan
August 10th, 2017, 03:38 PM
I wouldn't rank them top 5 given how one dimensional the offense has been for the last few years, but I expect to see a lot of good things from Furman's group.

The Paladins looks like it is going to be running back by committee. The roster is technically divided into fullbacks and tailbacks. From what I understand, you'll see all sorts of guys getting carries out of the backfield.

The fullbacks have a couple of battering rams back there in Antonio Wilcox (6'1 230), Deon Sanders (6' 224), Kealand Dirks (6' 244), and Ridge Gibson (5'11 216). I expect Furman to use the fullback a lot like Wofford does - downhill and between the tackles. Each of those guys with the exception of Gibson has been a feature back, so I would expect them to carry quite a load.

The tailbacks have a pretty exciting group. Darius Morehead is a guy that showed flashes of really impressive play last season both in the running and passing game. Triston Luke is powerful compact runner whose played a good bit the last few years. True freshman Devin Wynn is rumored to be a bigger version of Morehead, who set all sorts of rushing records last season in Georgia. I fully expect to see Furman heavily use these guys in the passing game and try to find mismatches with the defense.

The biggest gains in the running game, in my view, really have nothing to do with the running backs. Coach Hendrix is a well regarded offensive line coach who came out of a run heavy Air Force system. He brought a former AFA offensive linemen with him to coach the unit. Also, PJ Blazejowski is a gifted runner in his own right, and should allow for more breathing room for the backs to maneuver.

Essentially everyone on the offensive staff came out of run heavy offenses. I expect that is going to be a heavy point of emphasis in 2017 from the Paladins. I'd love to see us back up there on the rushing charts.

ElCid
August 10th, 2017, 11:30 PM
The article mentions McField. He went down in March with torn ACL. Not sure his time line or extent of injury but I imagine he is out for most of year if not all.

FUBeAR
August 11th, 2017, 12:18 AM
I like to be a little more objective than Southern Pigskin, so I dug into the numbers a wee bit...

So....here are the Individual RB's on the Rosters of the 5 Teams that Southern Pigskin Ranked...I've sorted them by Career Rushing Yards...



Team
#
Fname
Lname
Pos
HT
WT
YR
EXP
2016 Attempts
Career Attempts
2016 Yds
Career Yds
2016 YPC
Career YPC
2016 TDs
Career TDs
"Best" SoCon Honors
Hometown
ST
HS
Previous School


WCU
21
Detrez
Newsome
RB
70
210
SR
3
156
442
1031
2628
6.61
5.95
10
28
1st Team All SoCon (multiple)
Raeford
NC
Hoke County HS



Mercer
27
Alex
Lakes
RB
71
222
R-SR
3.5
105
433
449
2248
4.28
5.19
4
28
2014 All-SoCon First Team (Media)
Newnan
GA
Northgate HS
Air Force Prep


CIT
18
Cam
Jackson
RB
74
205
SR
3
95
243
692
1948
7.28
8.02
5
14
2017 All SoCon (Pre-Season; Coaches)
Mobile
AL
Davidson



Mercer
28
Tee
Mitchell
RB
70
194
R-JR
2.5
0
245
0
1349

5.51
0
8
2015 All-SoCon Second Team (Coaches & Media)
Jacksonville
FL
The Bolles School
Air Force Prep


CHATT
23
Richardre
Bagley
RB
69
180
SR
3
107
226
593
1127
5.54
4.99
5
7
2017 2nd Team All SoCon (PreSeason)
Powder Springs
GA
Hillgrove HS



Wofford
23
Chase
Nelson
FB
70
228
SR
3
26
107
75
478
2.88
4.47
2
7
None
Alpharetta
GA
Chattahoochee



CIT
2
Rod
Johnson
RB
71
198
SO
1
37
41
320
360
8.65
8.78
5
6
None
Ninety Six
SC
Ninety Six



WCU
7
Corey
Holloway
RB
70
210
R-JR
2.5
38
91
119
358
3.13
3.93
1
5
None
Atlanta
GA
Eagle's Landing HS



Wofford
6
Lennox
McAfee
RB
67
175
JR
2
45
60
230
325
5.11
5.42
1
1
None
Nashville
TN
East Nashville



Wofford
11
Blake
Morgan
RB
70
190
SO
1
25
25
274
274
10.96
10.96
0
0
None
St. John's
FL
Creekside



CIT
29
Grant
Drakeford
RB
70
187
JR
2
27
33
152
180
5.63
5.45
1
1
None
Atlanta
GA
Riverwood



CHATT
24
Alex
Trotter
RB
69
185
JR
2
24
44
104
176
4.33
4.00
0
0
None
Chattanooga
TN
McCallie School



Wofford
29
Andre
Stoddard
FB
70
230
JR
2
40
48
129
147
3.23
3.06
3
3
None
Greenville
SC
St. Joseph's



Wofford
22
Ellis
Pace
RB
71
190
JR
2
22
23
130
138
5.91
6.00
0
0
None
Flat Rock
NC
Christ School



CHATT
37
Chris
Miller
RB
68
180
SO
1
18
18
101
101
5.61
5.61
1
1
None
Hiram
GA
Hiram HS



Wofford
2
Ostin
McPherson
RB
68
170
SO
1
3
3
17
17
5.67
5.67
0
0
None
Mobile
AL
St. Paul's Episcopal



CIT
44
Jordan
Thomas
FB
73
223
SO
1
5
5
14
14
2.80
2.80
0
0
None
Fairburn
GA
Our Lady of Mercy



Mercer
7
CJ
Leggett
RB
70
209
R-JR
2.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Suwanee
GA
North Gwinnett HS
Mesa CC/Georgia Tech


Mercer
21
Rashad
Haynes
RB
72
185
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Memphis
TN
Memphis Central HS



Mercer
25
James
Camon
RB
68
183
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Valdosta
GA
Lowndes HS



Mercer
34
Tyray
Devezin
RB
69
193
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Woodstock
GA
Etowah HS



Mercer
42
Willie
Fulks
RB
70
167
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Mableton
GA
Whitefield Academy



CHATT
14
Darrell
Bridges
RB
73
200
GR-SR
4
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Chattanooga
TN
Ridgeland HS
Presbyterian


CHATT
21
Shaqulam
McCoy
RB
71
220
SR
3
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Chattanooga
TN
Ridgeland HS
LaGrange College


CHATT
34
Chris
Broadwater
RB
72
210
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Tucker
GA
Tucker HS



CHATT
40
Chris
Jones
FB
71
250
SR
3
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
DeQueen
AR
DeQueen HS



CHATT
43
Torrez
Finney
FB
68
230
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Macon
GA
Jones County HS



CHATT
44
Cole
Johnson
FB
74
250
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Chattanooga
TN
Baylor School



CIT
13
Jalen
Lampkin
RB
70
187
JR
2
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Augusta
GA
Westside



CIT
16
Brandon
Rainey
FB
72
185
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Acworth
GA
Allatoona



CIT
17
Logan
Bailey
RB
72
195
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Chapin
SC
Chapin



CIT
26
Keyonte
Sessions
RB
68
195
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Myrtle Beach
SC
Myrtle Beach



CIT
31
Malik
Brooks
FB
72
206
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Saluda
SC
Saluda



CIT
36
Matthew
Taylor
RB
71
190
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Johns Creek
GA
Johns Creek



CIT
37
Lorenzo
Ward
FB
70
211
SO
1
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Columbia
SC
Dreher



CIT
41
Shy
McPhail
FB
66
193
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Harstville
SC
Hartsville



CIT
42
Brandon
Berry
FB
71
227
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Crawfordville
FL
Wakulla



WCU
20
Donnavan
Spencer
RB
70
190
R-FR
0.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Charlotte
NC
Vance HS



WCU
45
James
Foushee
RB
69
205
R-JR
2.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Sanford
NC
Lee County HS
Guilford College


WCU

Caleb
Ferguson
RB
71
175
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Waynesville
NC
Tuscola HS



Wofford
25
Jamison
Chapman
RB
70
190
R-FR
0.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Dillon
SC
Dillon



Wofford
28
Ryan
Lovelace
RB
69
195
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Sugar Hill
GA
North Gwinnett



Wofford
30
Kent
Phelps
RB
71
185
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Hagerhill
KY
Paintsville



Wofford
32
Evan
Suggs
FB
72
190
FR
0
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Boone
NC
Watauga



Wofford
35
Andy
Riazzi
FB
73
215
R-FR
0.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Dayton
OH
Bishop Fenwick



Wofford
37
Matthew
McQuilla
RB
67
185
R-FR
0.5
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Columbia
SC
Spring Valley



Wofford
39
Spencer
Alverson
RB
72
195
SO
1
0
0
0
0


0
0
None
Greer
SC
Southside Christian




Now...here is a list of the Cumulative Stats of their RB Groups sorted by Career Rushing Yards.
NOTE 1: I omitted Evan McField (CIT) from these stats, because as El Cid mentioned, the current 'word' is that he is out for the season.
NOTE 2: All Transfers have 0 SoCon Yards Rushing...
NOTE 3: Receiving and Returns Results are outside the scope of this analysis



Team
HT
WT
EXP
2016 Attempts
Career Attempts
2016 Yds
Career Yds
2016 YPC
Career YPC
2016 TDs
Career TDs
"Best" SoCon Honors


Mercer
70
193
1.21
105
678
449
3597
4.28
5.31
4
36
2 All SoCon RB's


WCU
70
198
1.70
194
533
1150
2986
5.93
5.60
11
33
1 Multiple All SoCon Awards RB


CIT
71
200
0.77
164
322
1178
2502
7.18
7.77
11
21
1 1st Team All SoCon Pre-Season RB


CHATT
71
212
1.78
149
288
798
1404
5.36
4.88
6
8
1 2nd Team Pre-Season All SoCon RB


Wofford
70
195
1.04
161
266
855
1379
5.31
5.18
6
11
None



So...I'd say...take a look at what's coming back, factor in what's been added, and what's changed scheme or coaching-wise and you can Rank you RB Groups....

I'd agree with PaladinFan that FU has some RB's that are scary, but have been 'bottled up' in recent years. I have a feeling that FU's new O is going to get a few of those genie's out of their bottles.

My Ranking - SoCon RB's as a Group are FAR SUPERIOR to the RB Groups from any other Conference...I keep hearing about all these other cats....but I KNOW how good the ones on this list are and we'll see where the SoCon Rushing Stats are at the end of 2017. I think it's going to be shed-a-tear worthy!!!

PaladinNation
August 11th, 2017, 08:35 AM
FuBear nailed itů got a strong feeling some purple horses are going to make some noise in 2017.

During the entire BF era Furman migrated the runningback position into one group.
You had some quicks in Luke, but no one that could take it to the house like Jeridous Williams or a Louis Ivory.

Furman in the pre-season is drilling the tailbacks and fullbacks separately, which I can't remember seeing at Furman.

At fullback Wilcox is massive, he looks like a tight end in the backfield but runs like a tailback.
Dirks is like a poor man's Jerome Bettispoor, I've been told he's closer to 249 with less than 18% body fat.
Sanders could be the star at fullback but I'm not sure if he's close to a complete recovery from knee surgery.
All of the fullbacks can catch the ball.

At tailback Morehead will tote the rock, if he gets to the edge he's gone. Easily the most underrated unknown weapon in the SoCon.
Luke is strong and quick, but doesn't have that extra gear. Graham is a converted receiver, great move by the coaches.
Freshman Devin Wynn, how did this kid slip through the cracks. My guess 1A football in Georgia. Wynn had video game stats in HS, 5,106 yards and 62 touchdowns, plus 1st team AJC all-state. He could be #2.

Crazy thought, if Furman really wants to go option, could we see Mel Blount's nephew, freshman JeMar Lincoln at QB?

tenNesseeCat
August 11th, 2017, 09:07 AM
I'll add that those #'s don't include Adams, who had the second most rushing yards for WCU last year at 580. In '15 it was Mitchell at 575, and '14 was Mitchell with 670. last year's carry totals were Newsome-156, Adams-123, Young-44, Holloway-38. 361 total, of which Adams carried 34% of the load. Also, I think he will be more efficient this year as a runner, due to added depth at QB.

PaladinFan
August 11th, 2017, 09:19 AM
FuBear nailed it… got a strong feeling some purple horses are going to make some noise in 2017.

During the entire BF era Furman migrated the runningback position into one group.
You had some quicks in Luke, but no one that could take it to the house like Jeridous Williams or a Louis Ivory.

Furman in the pre-season is drilling the tailbacks and fullbacks separately, which I can't remember seeing at Furman.

At fullback Wilcox is massive, he looks like a tight end in the backfield but runs like a tailback.
Dirks is like a poor man's Jerome Bettispoor, I've been told he's closer to 249 with less than 18% body fat.
Sanders could be the star at fullback but I'm not sure if he's close to a complete recovery from knee surgery.
All of the fullbacks can catch the ball.

At tailback Morehead will tote the rock, if he gets to the edge he's gone. Easily the most underrated unknown weapon in the SoCon.
Luke is strong and quick, but doesn't have that extra gear. Graham is a converted receiver, great move by the coaches.
Freshman Devin Wynn, how did this kid slip through the cracks. My guess 1A football in Georgia. Wynn had video game stats in HS, 5,106 yards and 62 touchdowns, plus 1st team AJC all-state. He could be #2.

Crazy thought, if Furman really wants to go option, could we see Mel Blount's nephew, freshman JeMar Lincoln at QB?

One of the great mysteries of the Fowler administration was how often he would talk about establishing a running game, and how rarely the team would actually appear committed to it.

I never really understood the rhyme or reason. In 2015, Antonio Wilcox ran all over Samford in Birmingham (17 carries for 138) to cover a plurality of Furmans 53 rushing attempts. The next week he had 6 carries against Western Carolina. He had 18 yards on three carries, and didn't touch the ball again until midway through the second quarter when he caught a long pass from Hannon. He didn't actually carry the ball on a run again until late in the 3rd quarter. I have no explanation for that.

Same story last season. Kealand Dirks ran 17 times for 171 against Western Carolina. He had 1 carry the next week against Mercer. Dirks had only 27 carries all season. So, he gets a heavy workload in one game, runs all over the defense, and really doesn't touch the ball the rest of the season.

I'm sure there is some reasoning behind those decisions, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is.

FUBeAR
August 11th, 2017, 09:29 AM
I'll add that those #'s don't include Adams, who had the second most rushing yards for WCU last year at 580. In '15 it was Mitchell at 575, and '14 was Mitchell with 670. last year's carry totals were Newsome-156, Adams-123, Young-44, Holloway-38. 361 total, of which Adams carried 34% of the load. Also, I think he will be more efficient this year as a runner, due to added depth at QB.
You're right, BUT CIT, WOFF, & Mercer all have also had substantial rushing production from their QB spot. This was a 'look' at SoCon RB Groups. Team Rushing capability might be a more interesting & predictive 'look.'

PaladinFan
August 11th, 2017, 09:29 AM
Re: Wynn.

Georgia Class A football has produced some incredible running backs (particularly at UGA). Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst, Mack Strong, etc. Wynn's uncle, Robert Edwards, was a UGA great, was from nearby Washington County (which may have been a Class A school at the time). Auburn's Nick Marshall is another Class A kid. Monster Auburn DT and now Green Bay Packer Montravious Adams.

I could go on about the SoCon players that were all conference or all americans like Mark Legree or Duncan Fletcher.

UCMoc
August 11th, 2017, 09:40 AM
I know everyone hates to put much stock into transfers, but I think Darrell Bridges as a graduate transfer will end up being a big key to the Mocs offense this year. Add in a 5'11" 250 FB from Arkansas to block for him and Bagley, and we could jump up towards the top side of the list.

chattownmocs
August 11th, 2017, 09:43 AM
I know everyone hates to put much stock into transfers, but I think Darrell Bridges as a graduate transfer will end up being a big key to the Mocs offense this year. Add in a 5'11" 250 FB from Arkansas to block for him and Bagley, and we could jump up towards the top side of the list.

His 2000+ yards don't count, he has 0 yards, you heard them.

UCMoc
August 11th, 2017, 09:45 AM
His 2000+ yards don't count, he has 0 yards, you heard them.

I don't care what it says now. Let's see what it says at the end of the year!

chattownmocs
August 11th, 2017, 09:46 AM
I don't care what it says now. Let's see what it says at the end of the year!

Well of course he does have over 2000 yards in his career behind a terrible Oline on a terrible offense.

UCMoc
August 11th, 2017, 09:57 AM
Well of course he does have over 2000 yards in his career behind a terrible Oline on a terrible offense.

That's what makes him such an good transfer. Not comparing the UTC line to the Dallas Cowboys of old, but it's like the old question about what would Barry Sanders have done behind that line. I wonder what Bridges can do with talent around him.

chattownmocs
August 11th, 2017, 09:57 AM
That's what makes him such an good transfer. Not comparing the UTC line to the Dallas Cowboys of old, but it's like the old question about what would Barry Sanders have done behind that line. I wonder what Bridges can do with talent around him.

Idk, our line is by far the biggest question mark. Darrell is a good back. He's not quite Derrick Craine IMO, but he runs similarly hard. It will interesting to see whether he or Bagley get more touches.

tenNesseeCat
August 11th, 2017, 09:59 AM
You're right, BUT CIT, WOFF, & Mercer all have also had substantial rushing production from their QB spot. This was a 'look' at SoCon RB Groups. Team Rushing capability might be a more interesting & predictive 'look.'

Very true, but I would guess Mercer to be in a similar boat as WCU. It's a bit of a 1 -2 punch for us, where Wofford and The Citadel have about 30 different backs they use. There #2 back might only be 15-20% of the totals, and that's all they do.

UCMoc
August 11th, 2017, 10:14 AM
Idk, our line is by far the biggest question mark. Darrell is a good back. He's not quite Derrick Craine IMO, but he runs similarly hard. It will interesting to see whether he or Bagley get more touches.

True, I guess I was thinking more about him having been the primary weapon that opposing defenses had to stop and that won't be the case here.

FUBeAR
August 11th, 2017, 12:29 PM
His 2000+ yards don't count, he has 0 yards, you heard them.

No offense intended toward Mr. Bridges. I LOVE HIM! One of my former Players & also my good friend's son play for PC, so I have watched a good bit of Blue Hose Football in recent years. That Offense has been so bad that Bridges should get 2 yards credit for every yard he gained there! But there's the nature of why I chose to 'zero out' Transfers' Stats in my analysis. Too much variability in competition-level & Offensive philosophy/style, etc. of where they transferred in from to draw reasonable inferences from that data, IMO. Barring injury, Bridges will play a major role for the Mocs this year.

UCMoc
August 11th, 2017, 01:29 PM
No offense intended toward Mr. Bridges. I LOVE HIM! One of my former Players & also my good friend's son play for PC, so I have watched a good bit of Blue Hose Football in recent years. That Offense has been so bad that Bridges should get 2 yards credit for every yard he gained there! But there's the nature of why I chose to 'zero out' Transfers' Stats in my analysis. Too much variability in competition-level & Offensive philosophy/style, etc. of where they transferred in from to draw reasonable inferences from that data, IMO. Barring injury, Bridges will play a major role for the Mocs this year.

That's a fair way to do it. I'm glad to hear that you think so highly of him. Out of curiosity, since you have seen more of him than I have, where would you rank him individually among the RB's in the SoCon this year?

FUBeAR
August 11th, 2017, 02:03 PM
That's a fair way to do it. I'm glad to hear that you think so highly of him. Out of curiosity, since you have seen more of him than I have, where would you rank him individually among the RB's in the SoCon this year?

I think if you look at the individual analysis I did, there are 5 RB's that have CLEARLY PROVEN their ability to produce very solid results for their Teams - Newsome from WCU, Lakes AND Mitchell from Mercer, Jackson from CIT, and Bagley from UTC. I think Bridges 'fits in with that crowd' pretty well. I think his style is most like Newsome's (vs. the other 4), but I'm not sure he has the raw speed that Newsome does.

catamount man
August 12th, 2017, 07:41 AM
I'll add that those #'s don't include Adams, who had the second most rushing yards for WCU last year at 580. In '15 it was Mitchell at 575, and '14 was Mitchell with 670. last year's carry totals were Newsome-156, Adams-123, Young-44, Holloway-38. 361 total, of which Adams carried 34% of the load. Also, I think he will be more efficient this year as a runner, due to added depth at QB.
The added depth at QB will indeed give Tyrie more running options and I expect Speir and Glenn to take full advantage of that. GO CATS!!!

walliver
August 14th, 2017, 03:17 PM
If you exclude the QB from the category, Citadel is probably not #1. If you include QB production, then Wofford should be higher than #3.

It is very hard to compare option teams to other teams in terms of RB play, especially since one of the measures of RB performance is blocking ability in the TO.

FUBeAR
August 14th, 2017, 04:17 PM
If you exclude the QB from the category, Citadel is probably not #1. If you include QB production, then Wofford should be higher than #3.

It is very hard to compare option teams to other teams in terms of RB play, especially since one of the measures of RB performance is blocking ability in the TO.

Sticking with the format of the analysis, if we add Goodson's and Newman's (Woffy's Returning QB's) Career Yardage of 654 to the 1,379 of the Returning RB's, we get 2,033...which is still below the returning yards of just the RB's from Mercer, WCU, and CIT. So, by that metric, Woffy couldn't be above 4th. I can't do it now, but I can go back and add in all of the QB's Career Yardage pretty quickly...As you postulated (sort of, I think), I believe that that would put CIT #1 as Allen (alone) has 1,618 career rushing yards.

As far as blocking...RB's in all Offenses need to block - some more than others, but that would be pretty hard to evaluate objectively without access to all of the Coaches Game Video's for the past 4 years....so...."Out of Scope"