Monday, March 1, 2010

Quest for 2000- Others

Here are some excellent backs who could run for 2,000 yards if not hampered by some major issue whether it be the system they play in, their own explosiveness, and/or sharing carries.

Alfred Morris, FAU- Powerful back in a defensively weak conference. Unfortunately, not very explosive so will not have the yards per carry to equal 2,000.

Montel Harris, Boston College- Thickly built back who can really grind a game out. Will get his carries but is not a breakaway threat so will not get a lot of yards for his carries. One thing to keep in mind is him running out of the Wildcat formation. Also plays in the defensively stout ACC.

Daniel Thomas, Kansas State- Tall, powerful back built a lot like John Clay. Unlike Clay, does not have much talent around him.

Robert Turbin- Before tearing his ACL, Turbin was one of my favorite backs going into 2010. He has a good build, can catch the ball, has good speed, and reminds me a bit of a poor man's Ryan Williams. Although he does have to split carries with his quarterback.

Evan Royster- Another tall, lean back who is as complete a back as you will find. However, he plays in a defensive tough conference, is breaking in a new quarterback, and does not receive the amount of carries necessary to reach 2,000 yards.

Jacquizz Rodgers- Rodgers really could break 2,000 yards but I am concerned about his size. I bite my tongue as I say it because of guys like Garrett Wolfe and Darren Sproles but he is taking a beating every year in the Pac-10. Also his team has a new quarterback.

Noel Devine- As explosive as they come, Devine is a homerun threat everytime he touches the pigskin. However, his carries are limited due in part to his size and his system. He will also be working with a new quarterback and will lose some carries to Ryan Clarke.

Vai Taua- Big back who is really explosive. Will share carries with Colin Kaepernick and Lampford Mark.

Kendall Hunter- Great year two years ago but now has a new OC and has some size/injury issues.

Ryan Williams- Powerful, fast, and complete back who could very well vie for 2,000 yards if not for Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans, and David Wilson stealing carries.

Mark Ingram- Heisman winning back who has a dangerous skill set. Unfortunately has a new quarterback and will be sharing carries with Trent Richardson. Also plays in the tough SEC.

LaMichael James- Possibly the most explosive back in college football but due to the system he plays in, he will lose carries to his quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli. Also his eligibility is in question for 2010.

Quest for 2000- Shane Vereen

JJ Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best, and now Shane Vereen. This has been the amazing succession of running backs to come out of Cal in the past 5 years. Now you may notice that only Arrington hit the 2,000 yard mark but I think Shane Vereen could be next.

Vereen was an amazing backup to Jahvid Best and filled in better than most would have imagined when Best went down last year. Vereen is not as fast as Best but I think he is a better all around back in that he can take more carries and runs inside better than Best.

With that said, here is a breakdown of the pros and cons on Shane Vereen becoming the next 2,000 yard rusher in college football:


Undisputed feature back

Returns 4 Offensive Line starters

Returns starting Quarterback and top receiver

Averaged 27 carries per game as the starter in the last 4 games of the season

1 42 carry game

100+ yard games- 4 20+ carry games- 3 Avg. yards per game- 73 Starter- 142

Analysis: So I know that I am basing a lot on Vereen's few games as a starter but they speak volumes. During his four games as a starter, he averaged 27 carries a game and 142 yards per game. Going into next year he has shown the ability to excel with all the carries and has lots of tread on his tires still.

He returns 4 offensive linemen, his starting quarterback and top receiver, and although Jeff Tedford likes to run two backs, Vereen should get plenty of touches.


Averaged 14 carries per game

Shared backfield with Jahvid Best; never been the feature back

Loses starting fullback

Analysis: Basically it is just a waiting game to see how Vereen handles full time duty. I think he will hold up admirably but after averaging just 14 carries a game on they year, one has to be cautious. Another thing against him is that he loses he starting fullback.

Overall Analysis:

Shane Vereen is the type of tailback that could have started almost anywhere else but at Cal he was behind the blazing Jahvid Best. I think that could help him though. He will enter the 2010 season without much wear and tear and therefore could really bust out.

He is not very big but has shown the ability to take some punishment as witnessed by his 42 carry game against Stanford. He has a thick build, can catch the ball out of the backfield, and has the wheels to take it to paydirt.

Shane Vereen is definitely capable of breaking out for 2,000 yards in 2010 so just snatch him up on draft day.