Miami Hurricanes' Four Horsemen: Best Running Back Stable in the Nation
The Book of Revelation foretells a prophecy of "Four Horsemen" which will bring upon the apocalypse. This is something which many would dread as it signifies a destructive force that will bring about great change to the world.
Likewise in college football the "Four Horsemen" from the University of Miami represent a sight that all opponents should fear and hope never to face. For this collective unit is poised to wreak havoc on defenses from coast to coast. In doing so they too could potentially bring great change to the college football landscape.
Miami enters the 2010-2011 campaign with an arsenal of capable ball carriers.
As it stands "The _" has arguably the very best stable of running backs in the nation. The group contains speed, strength, elusiveness and enough motivation to lead the Hurricanes back to the promise land this upcoming season.
Senior Damien Berry is penciled in as the current starter. Known for his straight-ahead style of running, Berry will pose an even more physically intimidating presence next season after having added 13 lbs of muscle to his frame.
Last season Berry averaged 6.6 yards per carry in route to scoring 8 touchdowns on the ground.
While he is expected to start Berry knows it's not the most important thing and that he'll have plenty of competition.
"I'm just going to try to be the best back," Berry said. "As far as being the [starter] I don't know. I still have to outwork Coop, Mike James and those young-ins, Lamar [Miller], Storm [Johnson].
Coop is short for Graig Cooper last years starter who suffered a knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl versus Wisconsin.
Cooper has been granted a fifth year of eligibility and his team mates fully expect him to be back on the field come the start of the season.
"I wouldn't doubt him coming back this season at all," Vaughn Telemaque said. "He's working extremely hard, always getting treatment, always around the team, always lifting weights, whatever it takes. He's not using his knee as an excuse for anything."
Cooper would give the Canes an experienced back who is both explosive and capable of making big plays both running the ball and on special teams.
Sophomore Mike James is also expected to contribute big time come September.
James wasn't the headliner in UM's 2009 recruiting class. He wasn't even considered the best running back as that distinction went to Bryce Brown.
Still James may prove all the scouts that Miami got the best running back in the nation after all when they signed him two years ago.
James is an athletic specimen. He is a power back with evasiveness and quickness. He has the strength to break tackles and move the pile.
Finally there is Freshmen Lamar Miller who is set to turn some heads this season.
Miller is a track star with lightning fast speed. Miami needs to find a way to utilize this kids potential. His quickness and moves at running back are comparable to Travis Benjamin's at wide receiver. He is the type of player that is able to do something special every time he touches the ball.
Just in case Cooper isn't ready to play or someone goes down there is Storm Johnson and Lee Chambers waiting for an opportunity.
Chambers is a junior that often gets over looked or lost in the shuffle because of all the other talent Miami has amassed at running back.
Randy Shannon had this to say on Chambers, "Whenever he’s played, he’s done a great job. The thing that gets me is all these little injuries that he gets – a nick with his shoulder, a hernia, this or that and it keeps him out. Now, when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best backs we have on the team. Look at what he did against Cal in the [2009 Emerald Bowl] game. But those injuries prevent him from being where he needs to be at.”
Storm Johnson mean while may be the best running back on campus and he has yet to play a collegiate game. Johnson is a true freshmen that has been turning heads on the field since arriving in Coral Gables.
Shannon glowed when talking about Johnson who is a multifaceted back capable of catching and blocking along with running the ball.
While he may not see much playing time this year and will likely be red-shirted, Johnson remains confident coaches will see his ability and decide to play him this season.
"It just makes me work harder everyday knowing there are a lot of people in front of me. I show my talent everyday. I can't take a day off.''
In the end the Canes will likely go as far as these players legs are able to take them. A dominant running game would do wonders in opening up the field for Jacory Harris and the Canes equally impressive Wide Receivers.
Miami boasts four players capable of starting at running back for most college programs. So the dilemma lies in who to play and how much. This is a great problem to have if you're Randy Shannon, Mark Whipple and the Hurricanes.
Come September "The Four Horsemen" will ride and spell doom for any that stand in their way.
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