Drew Thurman (1:51 pm)
I recently had an interesting conversation with several Buckeye fans. The main question that was brought up was, "are we really that deep at running back after Beanie?" The conversation was not directed at criticizing the backup running backs, but instead taking an honest look at the position. So let's take a look...
Brandon Saine is a very interesting conversation. Saine started with spark last season, and looked to have a bright future as a starting running back for the Bucks. After his injury though, Saine really never seemed to get back in stride. With that said, Saine did show some serious skills in the spilt back formation with Beanie. He had some nice receptions in the National Championship Game, and I hope to see that formation more this next season.
My only concern is that Saine has not shown that he can be an every down back that can pound the ball inside. I see Saine more as an outside runner, but others do disagree with me. I was reminded that this was the same criticism of Pittman in his early years at Ohio State. So watching Saine this season could help with a lot of the questions that surround him. The potential is obviously there, and I will be pulling for him.
Maurice Wells enters into his senior season with a lot to prove. Wells has never really turned into the player many had hoped, and he is surrounded by critics. I have always liked Wells' work ethic, but the results have never really been there. Many have already written off Wells for the 08-09 season, and they could very well be right. Last year he only averaged 3.6 yards, and had 3 touchdowns. With Saine getting more carries this next season, Wells well probably have to bring up the YPC to have a successful senior campaign.
After redshirting last season, Herron seems to be a forgotten man. I was impressed though when watching him at the spring game. I had already heard positive things about Herron from the spring practices, and he did not disappoint in the spring game. Herron has a tough running style for his size, and I like that he does not dance. Herron obviously has several bodies in front of him, but I think he may be a major contributing factor for the Buckeyes next season.
So I guess you can decide for yourself. I personally think we have plenty behind Beanie in 08-09, and for the future. I did not even throw in Lamaar Thomas who has a chance to play running back for the Bucks. I did list him as a wideout, but seeing him in the US Army All-American Game made me realize that he looked tough in the backfield with Pryor. So that gives us the possibility of Saine, Herron, and Thomas in the future. Throw in some guys like Jordan Hall or Jamaal Berry and you have a very bright future at running back!
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