Boise State has a history of good running backs. It seems like the Broncos know how to pick them.
Well, that streak appears to be continuing.
Jay Ajayi is a 6', 222-pound sophomore running back that Bronco fans are very excited about. He was the backup to D.J. Harper in 2012, and he was a capable one at that.
On the season, he carried the ball 82 times for 548 yards with a 6.7 yard-per-carry average.
Fast forward to the spring game, and he hasn't missed a beat.
On the day, Ajayi carried the ball 11 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. However, the stats don't even do his performance justice.
Ajayi is powerful, fast and frankly intimidating. He makes his presence known and runs downhill better than most.
As the starter in 2013, the Broncos have a very good running back in Ajayi. If he stays healthy, Boise State may put up some huge rushing numbers.
But it doesn't stop there.
During the spring game something else happened. The fans got their first look at JUCO transfer Derrick Thomas.
Thomas comes to Boise via Butler Community College where he did some impressive things. He is similar to size of Ajayi at 6'1", 210 pounds, and just like Ajayi, Thomas runs with power.
He carried the ball eight times during the spring game for 27 yards. He also caught two passes for another 15 yards. On one play, he sidestepped a defender, making him look silly, and then bolted for a few more yards.
He was impressive, and it looks like Thomas is going to be a very good backup to Ajayi. The two of them should make waves in the Mountain West Conference.
A third running back popped up during the spring game as well.
Charles Bertoli is a redshirt freshman out of St. Helena, Calif. At 5'11" and 191 pounds, he is just a bit smaller than Ajayi and Thomas.
On the day, Bertoli ran the ball just five times, but he gained 24 yards. He looks fast and strong out there, and any team that plays the Broncos in 2013 might be facing a very good three-headed rushing attack.
Anyone who watched the spring game at Bronco Stadium could easily see that Ajayi, Thomas and Bertoli all ran with power and speed. They all moved the line of scrimmage at times and proved they could make a move when needed.
This is probably the deepest group of running backs Coach Petersen has had in a while. If you add some plays by Grant Hedrick and Shane Williams-Rhodes in there, opposing defenses are going to be pulling out their hair trying to stop the Boise State rushing attack.
The running backs are a huge story out of the spring game, if not the biggest. It will be intriguing to see if they can carry that momentum into the fall.
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