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  1. #1
    FCS Champion The Cats's Avatar
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    SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    5. Chattanooga
    4. Mercer
    3. Wofford
    2. Western Carolina
    1. The Citadel


    http://www.southernpigskin.com/socon...-running-back/



    Thoughts? Disagreements?




  2. #2
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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.
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  3. #3
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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.
    FIRE THOSE CANNONS!

  4. #4
    Top FCS Ruler FUBeAR's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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!!!
    Last edited by FUBeAR; August 11th, 2017 at 06:57 AM.
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  5. #5
    Master FCS Advocate PaladinNation's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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?

  6. #6
    Top FCS Advocate tenNesseeCat's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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.
    Mark Speir - "I say it each week and I mean it. I thank the good Lord for putting me in Cullowhee for this time and this place."

  7. #7
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinNation View Post
    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.
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  8. #8
    Top FCS Ruler FUBeAR's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    Quote Originally Posted by tenNesseeCat View Post
    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.'
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  9. #9
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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.
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  10. #10
    Top FCS Advocate UCMoc's Avatar
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    Re: SouthernPigskins' SoCon Preseason Position Rankings: Running Back

    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.

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