LSU Football: Crowded Backfield Gives Les Miles Comfort in 2011

Brett Stephen@@brettstephenAnalyst IIAugust 21, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Spencer Ware #16 of the Louisiana State University Tigers is tackled by Michael Hodges #37 of the Texas A&M Aggies during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Spencer Ware #16 of the Louisiana State University Tigers is tackled by Michael Hodges #37 of the Texas A&M Aggies during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Like many SEC schools, LSU has always been a factory for quality running backs, with third- and fourth-string backs that could start at most schools around the nation.

While the multiple-back system limits the success and notoriety of the individuals, the end result is a rotation of fresh legs that wears down opposing defenses and leads to team success.

2011 will be no different.

Head coach Les Miles has the comfort and luxury of a depth chart that includes six capable backs that will ultimately add to the success of the LSU offense.

Leading the way will be two-sport sophomore Spencer Ware, who enjoyed his breakout game in last year’s Cotton Bowl.  Ware has done nothing but solidify his role as the starter this offseason, proving that his skills are real and that the Cotton Bowl was no fluke.

Behind Ware will be true freshman Terrance Magee and sophomores Alfred Blue and Jakhari Gore.

Highly touted incoming freshman Kenny Hilliard has not cracked the depth chart at running back, but that has nothing to do with his talent or abilities.  Hilliard is an amazing talent with tremendous upside, but Miles sees the 5’11” 225-pound back as someone who can carry a little more weight and become a skilled fullback.

The guy that may end up being the odd man out in the LSU backfield is sophomore Michael Ford.  Ford has not had a bad spring, but with a tremendous amount of talent ahead of him at the running back position, he has also not done anything to stand out.

The deep roster of talented running backs will give Miles and Tiger fans comfort as LSU makes a run for the BCS National Championship in 2011.

As a coach or a fan, you never want to think about a player being injured, but the reality is that not many running backs can get through a hard-hitting SEC season without some bumps and bruises.

The deep roster of running backs not only gives the Tigers options in the event that someone falls to injury, it also gives them the option to rotate backs to limit the hits.  This gives them a better chance to stay injury free throughout the year as they pursue their third national title in eight years.

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