Florida Gators: Why Mike Gillislee Will Shine as the Team's Primary RB

Kyle Casey@@kylecasey094Correspondent IIIAugust 30, 2012

Senior running back Mike Gillislee's career at the University of Florida has been rather disappointing to date.

In his first three season with the Gators, Gillislee struggled to see the field on a consistent basis because running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey were the team's primary running backs. But Rainey and Demps have since graduated and joined the NFL, so now it is Gillislee's time to shine as the primary back in Gainesville.

Gillislee's path to becoming the starting running back wasn't easy, as he had to beat out sophomore Mack Brown and freshman Matt Jones during training camp. Entering camp, Gillislle was fully expected to win the starting job, and he was successful in doing so.

Now that he has been deemed the starter, it's time to look forward to the 2012 season and the possibilities for Gillislee. But what exactly should be expected from the senior back?

Well, a 1,000-yard season is a good start, and there's no reason why Gillislee can't surpass 1,000 yards. In his first three seasons, Gillislee averaged 6.3 yards per attempt on 145 rushes. Of course, an average of over six yards per rush can't be expected from Gillislee, as he will be taking on a much more extensive workload. 

But if Gillislee averages 5.5 yards per attempt, then the power running back could reach the 1,000-yard mark. 

In 2011, Rainey had 171 rushes and Demps had 98 rushes in a two-back system, so with Gillislee as the primary back, he should be expected to have more rushing attempts than Rainey. If Gillisslee has between 190 and 200 rushing attempts in 2012, he will certainly reach 1,000 rushing yards.

Gillislee's touchdowns could also reach an impressive number, as he could certainly rush for 10 or more touchdowns. As a running back who is much more powerful than Rainey or Demps, Gillislee will likely take many of the snaps at the goal line, giving him plenty of opportunities to find the end zone.

While this is Gillislee's first and only season as the primary running back for the Florida Gators, every indication points to him having a breakout year for the Gators.