Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
Jay Ajayi will be the focal point of the Broncos' rushing attack in 2013.
D.J. Harper may have graduated, but the Broncos likely won’t have any trouble continuing to operate a run-first offense.
Enter sophomore Jay Ajayi, the almost sure heir to the starter’s spot in Boise State’s backfield.
Ajayi won’t exactly be a fresh face to the blue turf, receiving 82 carries for 548 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. What’s even better is the fact that he was the team’s leader in yards per attempt, besting Harper’s 5.0 average with an astounding 6.7 mark.
While Harper was a quick back that really excelled in the open field, Ajayi has a bit more size but still has the speed to make opponents pay when he gets some open space. It would not be surprising to see Chris Petersen use the sophomore much like Doug Harper was used during his time in a Broncos uniform.
In addition to Ajayi, the Broncos have decent depth in the running back department as well. Sophomore Jack Fields is the likely backup and also has a very limited amount of experience with the Broncos from last season.
However, perhaps the most exciting part of the backfield is the fact that it could be one of the country's best in a couple of years, thanks to a pickup from the 2013 recruiting class.
Incoming freshman Aaron Baltazar has been touted as the next great running back by some, and could realistically challenge Fields for the backup position as early as this season.
Baltazar has blazing speed, and assuming he puts on some muscle during his tenure with the team could become an extremely dangerous threat sooner rather than later.
It isn’t often that a team can lose a Doug Martin and a D.J. Harper in consecutive seasons and still come out all right at running back. But thanks to the trio of Ajayi, Fields and Baltazar, the Broncos have a lot to look forward to in 2013 and beyond.