Last year the Hokies running game was pretty productive. You had the emergence of a young star at running back and a quarterback that continued to show his athletic ability.
This coming season is looking to be even better for that group.
They return all players at the running back position minus Dustin Pickle. They will be adding the explosive Ryan Williams to the bunch. The only question is how are the carries going to be divided.
I think the starter throughout the season will be Darren Evans. Last season, as a freshman, he showed his ability to wear a defense down and just over power them at the end of the game and did so to the tune of over 1200 yards. Another year in the system and in the weight room will only improve this powerful back.
Behind Evans is where the battle will be for playing time.
You have Josh Ogelsby who showed flashes last year after the injury to the returning veteran Kenny Lewis Jr. Then you add in Williams who is explosive and shifty coming off his red shirt year to get the system down and this will be a tight race during spring and fall practice.
In the end I think Williams will win the battle for the number two spot. He is a combination of break away speed and great moves to evade tacklers in the open field. I believe he will be the home run threat the offense lacked in the 2008 season.
These two backs could end up being a duo to rival "The Untouchables."
To the combination of Evans and Williams you add Tyrod Taylor who was the teams second leading rusher last year.
I don't think he will be running as much this year, but you will see it. Just like the last two years his athleticism will provide some exciting and productive plays.
These parts put together should add up to a very productive running game. Having that will open up the passing game and create a much better offense overall.
If you noticed I didn't mention David Wilson in this article. I did that for a reason. I don't think that he will be playing this season. The running back position already has a ton of depth and wasting a year of Wilson's eligibility would be pointless this season. In my opinion the only way he sees the playing field this season is if a couple of the backs on the roster are injured. This kid can be very good and the Hokies will want him for as long as possible so playing him this year just doesn't make sense.
This upcoming season the Hokies will see a lot of hype. If they hope to live up to it the ground game will have to be a major part of the equation.