South Carolina Football: Evaluating the Running Backs

Alex Roberts@@alexCoAbassCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2012

South Carolina Football: Evaluating the Running Backs

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    South Carolina will no doubt be a running team.

    With an All-American running back and a legitimate dual-threat quarterback, what else would you expect? 

    However, this group is more than just Marcus Lattimore.  This is a deep and talented position, where any of the players can make big things happen.

    Welcome to part two of my Gamecock overview. Click this link for access to part one.

Marcus Lattimore

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 230 lbs

    Year: Junior

    Pros: Elite Strength, tackle breaking, driving feet, speed, cutting ability, ball security, catching

    Cons: Durability and ability to bounce back from injury.

    Marcus Lattimore is the best running back in the country when healthy.  His overall ability is second to none. 

    He has power, speed, agility, catching ability, blocking ability and is a great citizen.  If he can play a full year, he could easily surpass 2,000 yards on the season. 

    Luckily, the Gamecocks now realize they have a stable of good runners, and he won't be asked to carry the load alone. 

Brandon Wilds

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Year: Sophomore

    Pros: Strength, catching ability, ability to gain tough yards

    Cons: Speed, vision

    Brandon Wilds is a tough power back.  He has average speed and agility, but his forward momentum and strength make him a great weapon for the offense.  He runs a lot like Lattimore. 

    He sometimes found himself running into piles as a freshman.  However, his excellent season showed that he could be a starting back in the future.  He's talented. 

Kenny Miles

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 210 lbs

    Year: Senior

    Pros: Speed, agility, strength

    Cons: Vision, forgets to run north/south at times

    A fan favorite, Kenny Miles is another starting-caliber running back on the Gamecocks squad. 

    He's got everything you would want as a runner.  He can cut, he's fast and he's strong.  Last year, I called him "dancy," and he improved a great deal on that area, becoming more of a one-cut-and-go runner. 

    He still forgets to run north/south at times, but he is another runner who gets good yards per carry. 

Shon Carson

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    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 205 lbs

    Year: Freshman

    Pros: Balance, speed, agility, versatility

    Cons: Size, strength in blocking, durability

    Shon Carson earned the No. 2 running back spot last year.  He was impressive and did an excellent job learning the playbook.

    A few carries later, he's hit with a devastating injury and has to miss the entire year.  During his rehab, Wilds and Miles played like starters, dropping him to fourth on the depth chart. 

    He will get touches, however.   He's too fast and too talented to keep off the field.  He's a great candidate for future All-SEC runner. 

Mike Davis

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 200 lbs

    Year: Incoming Freshman

    Pros: Strength, speed, aggression, agility, power

    Cons: Attitude, control

    Mike Davis was one of the biggest pieces of the great 2012 recruiting class.  He was highly sought-after and was considered one of the best runners in the country. 

    He is the heir apparent to Marcus Lattimore.  He's an every-down back who can move the chains or break it for a big run.  At least, he was in high school. 

    He will probably redshirt this year, unless he is too talented to keep off the field, which could happen. 

    The big concern with Davis is his attitude and work ethic.  If he can keep himself straight (which I believe he will), he's going to be a big-time player for the Gamecocks.

Overall: A+

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    Three-Year Stock Pattern: Rising

    2010: B

    2011: B+

    2012: A+

    This may be one of the best running-back groups in the country.  Led by an All-American in Marcus Lattimore, two grizzled, experienced runners in Wilds and Miles and two youthful stars in Carson and Davis, this group may be the best of all the Gamecocks positions.


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