Forgive me for a post that might make more sense in the offseason, but I can't stop thinking about how crazy loaded Rutgers is with running back talent. Tis the season to give thanks, and I'm thankful Rutgers is stocked with talented options to carry the rock.
Consider: true freshmen Josh Hicks and Robert Martin earned co-starter designations against Sparty by demonstrating they are not only powerful and patient runners, but also can hold their own in pass protection, and are not likely to get Gary Nova murdered. That is usually the biggest hurdle for young running backs to see the field. Martin has gaudier statistics to date, with 4 TDs, 277 yards on 55 caries (5.0 YPA) and a long 47 yard TD run. But Hicks has shown tons of potential as a big bull running back too, with a TD and 169 yards on 34 carries (also 5.0 YPA).
In total, 5 different running backs have scored TDs this year: James (5); Martin (4); Peoples (3); Hicks and Goodwin (1 each).
Against Indiana, Kyle Flood cycled 4 backs into the action, with Des Peoples and Justin Goodwin joining the aforementioned Hicks and Martin.
Next year, Rutgers will also have Paul James and Savon Huggins returning from injury. If he can stay healthy (a huge caveat), PJ looks like an elite back in the conference if not the country. Savon may still live up to his 5 star potential, and has shown occasional flashes of doing just that.
And Charles Snorweah, the lone RB in the 2015 class will be on board. In case you spend less time following Pennsylvania high school football than I do, Snorweah has been on fire this year. Rivals bumped him to a 3 star recruit because Snorweah has been an unstoppable animal in his senior year. In just three playoff games (with the championship tomorrow), Snorweah has rushed for an outrageous 918 yards and 13 touchdowns. THREE GAMES.
So what do we do with all these blessings, a cornucopia of running back talent? Here's a completely speculative guess: PJ and Martin start, with Hicks and Huggy Bear next up on the depth chart. I think Goodwin moves to receiver and plays sort of like a hybrid position as a change of pace - he reminds me of Percy Harvin, and could be really effective running jet sweeps and catching screens and passes to the flat. Snorweah redshirts or contributes on special teams. Peoples is the hardest for me to figure - he might have a hard time seeing the field on offense.
Happy Thanksgiving y'all. We have a lot of blessings as people and fans, and I wish you all happiness and health this holiday season.