Virginia Tech Football: Why the Hokies Should Use RB by Committee All Season
Frank Beamer has always believed in a strong running game in his 25 years as head coach of Virginia Tech.
Beamer has had stars, players who would become first-round draft picks and guys who had different skill-sets splitting duties during his time as Hokies' coach.
Just two years ago, Beamer had three running backs who are now in the NFL and at one time or another, within the last five years, shattered many Virginia Tech and ACC rushing records. Darren Evans broke several freshman records only to be eclipsed by Ryan Williams the very next season. David Wilson broke many of Williams' records in 2011.
In 2010, Beamer and offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring had the task of finding playing time for all three players. Each player received significant playing time and contributed equally to another Hokies' ACC title.
2012 will be different. The Hokies will feature several new faces in the backfield. Two freshmen will see a lot of playing time while other players, such as junior Tony Gregory and senior Martin Scales, look to have prominent roles in the backfield for the first time in their careers.
Here's three reasons why the Hokies should use a running back by committee in 2012.
Holmes and Coleman Have Different Running Styles
Michael Holmes, a redshirt freshman, and J.C. Coleman, a true freshman, figure to be the top two runners in Virginia Tech's stable of running backs in 2012.
Holmes is well-built at 5'11", 208 pounds. He is a good between-the-tackles runner with excellent vision who has shown an ability to break long runs.
Coleman is much smaller, standing 5'7" and weighing 176 pounds. Coleman's game is based more on speed at this point.
David Wilson was built more like Holmes, but possessed Coleman's speed and big-play ability.
Having Holmes and Coleman share Wilson's carries is the best move for the Hokies in 2012.
Veteran Wide Receivers
Logan Thomas will have four senior wide receivers to throw to in 2012.
Marcus Davis, D.J. Coles, Dyrell Roberts and Corey Fuller figure to be the top-four receivers for the Hokies this fall. Having receivers with so much experience will allow the Hokies' young backfield to come along at their own pace.
Expect a Hokies' offense with more passing in 2012 to take advantage of such a good passer in Thomas and a plethora of weapons on the outside.
The Hokies can bring along the young running backs slowly and still score points because of the presence of the seniors at wide receiver.
Inexperience Along the Offensive Line
The Hokies will start four new players on the offensive line in 2012.
Only junior center Andrew Miller returns, but he is an All-ACC-caliber player.
Opening the season against Georgia Tech with four new starters along the offensive line and two freshmen at running back could be a tall task for the Hokies. Running room may be hard to come by.
Alternating Holmes and Coleman is the right move because it won't allow the defense to key on one style of runner while the offensive line learns to play as a unit.