Josh Haden Transfers To Florida; Gators Add Another Running Back
Former Boston College running back Josh Haden will transfer to Florida, becoming the third Haden to suit up for the Orange and Blue.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Haden will have to sit out during the 2010 season. But come 2011, he'll be thrown into the running back mix.
Haden has long been expected to come to Gainesville, as indicated by his brother Joe (skip to 0:48), and seeing him join the Gators' offense should be interesting when he officially joins the team in January.
The second-oldest Haden is built similarly to current Florida junior running backs Jeffrey Demps and Chris Rainey, measuring in at a height of 5' 8" and weighing 182 lbs.
However, as far as racking up similar stats to Rainey and Demps, Haden has some catching up to do.
In two seasons at Boston College, he had 692 rushing yards on 178 carries, registering a very respectable average of 3.9 yards per carry. Unfortunately for Haden, his yards per carry average at Boston College ranks behind new teammates Rainey, Demps, senior Emmanuel Moody, and sophomore Mike Gillislee.
Admittedly, Haden has been playing in a different offense, for a different team, behind a different offensive line, and against different competition, and his potential as a Gator cannot be measured by his stats alone.
But playing against SEC competition at Florida will be much tougher than the ACC opponents he's grown accustomed to after two seasons with the Eagles.
The biggest problem facing Haden is that he is joining a team that is already extremely crowded at the running back position with guys who are just as talented or possibly even better than him.
In addition to the aforementioned Rainey, Demps, Moody, and Gillislee, the Gators also have new recruit Mack Brown (The No. 6 running back recruit according to Rivals.com) competing for significant playing time.
Granted, Moody will be gone after this season and Rainey could test the NFL waters if he has a strong 2010 campaign (which would be surprising in light of his recent comments), so Haden will definitely not be completely buried on the depth chart.
Also, it helps that entering his sixth season in Gainesville, Urban Meyer has never had a sure thing at running back and has had to rely on Tim Tebow, a quarterback, and Percy Harvin, a receiver, to keep the ground game afloat.
Haden is a very talented athlete (his 40-yard dash time is 4.41 seconds), and in an offense as diverse and complex as Meyer's he will surely get his fair share of touches.
However, if he wants to become a go-to guy and a reliable playmaker like his All-American brother, he has an uphill battle to fight.
Haden is a guy that wears his heart on his sleeve—rather, his right pectoral muscle where he has the BC logo tattooed—and if he has Joe's work ethic than he should do just fine as a Gator.
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