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Thigpen figures to be a factor in the return game
Frankly (no pun intended), there won't be one running back on the roster that will replicate the numbers put up by Franklin last season.
It will be somewhat of a running back-by-committee scenario this season, unless one back completely separates himself from the derby.
If not for a torn ACL, tailback Damien Thigpen might be higher on this list.
The diminutive 5'8" 180-pound speedster from Gainesville, Va. is arguably the most versatile Bruin on the offensive side of the ball. Thigpen was the third-leading rusher on the team last year with 262 yards on 50 carries. He also had 18 catches out of the backfield for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
Often times, Thigpen acted as the security blanket out of the backfield for Hundley. His agility in the open field made him heavily targeted on swing passes and screens.
The redshirt senior is also a standout on special teams. Not only is he arguably the best punt and kickoff returner on the team, but he's also very good as a gunner. His toughness and straight-line speed make him a very good special teams player.
Thigpen suffered a torn ACL against Southern Cal. He's yet to return to action, but should be available once the season starts. His impending return is huge for Mora's squad. The running back corps as a whole is somewhat inexperienced.
Thigpen will not only add much needed experience, but he'll also add production and flexibility in the process.