BYU Football: Who Will Emerge as the Cougars' No. 1 Running Back?

Samuel BensonContributor IIIMay 30, 2012

BYU Football: Who Will Emerge as the Cougars' No. 1 Running Back?

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    Despite the loss of Bryan Kariya and JJ Di Luigi, BYU should have plenty of depth at the running back position. The Cougars' return key players Michael Alisa, Josh Quezada and David Foote, and welcome several newcomers to the ranks.

    Here are five running backs who I feel will contribute most to the team. I have ranked them based on the chance I think that they have of becoming BYU's No. 1 rushing option.

No. 5: David Foote

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    David Foote did not see much time playing offense, but he appeared in all 13 games on special teams. Foote finished the season with 13 carries for 146 yards.

    Foote is in the same position Michael Alisa was in last year: a steady special teams contributor. He saw rare minutes on offense.

    Unless he proves that he can contribute to the team, Foote probably won't see very much playing time on offense.

No. 4: Paul Lasike

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    A rugby player, Paul Lasike is currently a member of of the BYU football and rugby teams.

    Standing at 6'0" and 225 pounds, Lasike not only has size but speed as well.

    I have never actually seen him play football, but rugby and football are similar.

    Right?

    I guess not, but Lasike practiced with the football team during the season, and still has plenty of time to make the transition. If he can prove he's a good football player, the Cougars will be loaded in the backfield this season.

No. 3: Iona Pritchard

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    Iona Pritchard is a sophomore, but hasn't played in a game since 2008.

    He served an LDS mission in 2009, but suffered a season-ending injury in the spring of 2011. Pritchard red-shirted last year, and looks to make a direct impact in the backfield this season.

    Standing at 6'0" and weighing 240 pounds, Pritchard is no small guy. If he is as quick as he was four years ago, he could make a big difference in BYU's season.

No. 2: Josh Quezada

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    In his sophomore season as a Cougar, Josh Quezada played in all 13 of BYU's games.

    With only 298 rushing yards on the season, there is plenty of room for Quezada to improve.

    Quezada will most likely sit near the top of the depth chart this season—the rushing load will rely partly on him. If Quezada can take advantage of the opportunities he is given, he will have a successful season.

No. 1: Michael Alisa

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    Michael Alisa was practically unknown at the beginning of last season. But, he made a splash with 84 yards and a touchdown against Oregon State.

    Alisa finished the year as the team's second-leading rusher, compiling 85 carries, 455 yards and three touchdowns.

    Michael Alisa has been credited as one of the fastest Cougar running backs since Luke Staley, and the duo of Quezada and Alisa could be extremely successful.