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Coach Chris Ash Talks About The Rutgers Backfield

They were described as way ahead of last year.

Iowa v Rutgers Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Coach Chris Ash held a press conference Thursday and talked about a plethora of topics. One of the topics he touched upon was the running back corps. The running backs were looked at as an integral part of the offense last season. Unfortunately, their potential never really came to fruition.

Rutgers did get a graduate transfer for next season in Gus Edwards, who is coming from the University of Miami. He has not been on campus yet and has not practiced, but it is clear the coaches are intrigued and interested in what this kid can do.

Coach Ash said that they are going to use “a running back by committee approach.” He added, “In the Big Ten, you need more than one back. Having a star is great, but you need multiple backs to survive the season and games.”

Coach Ash said that the backs are practicing harder and with more focus than ever before. He also ended his monologue on the running backs by saying that the “execution at the running back position is higher than it was last year.”

For Rutgers, having a running back by committee with a potential star is key. Robert Martin had an off year last season, largely due to injury. Rutgers lost Justin Goodwin to graduation, but did retain Josh Hicks and Trey Sneed, in addition to Martin. Add in Gus Edwards and you have four solid backs that can do damage on the field.

If these backs are truly ahead of last year, that is a great sign. Edwards will likely take some time to develop and learn the system, so he may start slow out of the gates. Edwards does have potential to help this team, it is just a matter of when he will be ready.

A key in the run game is the offensive line. Rutgers’ offensive line seems to be coming together nicely so far this off-season giving more and more hope for this run game and the offense as a whole. If this line can gel, it will be amazing how much more effective Giovanni Rescigno and his backfield can become in this conference.

This running back group, like last year, has great potential. Will they be the same dismal group production wise, as last year? We will all find out soon enough. For now, enjoy the positive outlook and the potential Rutgers has at that position. If these backs can produce, Rutgers will have a much better season than last year in terms of offensive output.