Hivemind: Solving the Running Back Conundrum for 2016

With the graduation of RB DeAndre Washington Texas Tech will have to choose one or two or three running backs to carry the load in 2016. I don’t know that we’ll solve that problem today, but I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the candidates (I did not include Bryson Denley as it would seem like a longshot for him to leapfrog four other running backs and he hasn’t signed just yet).  I also wanted to go back and look at some high school stats just to see how they performed when they were given the ball a handful of times.

Option 1

Justin Stockton received the second most carries of any running back on the team. The question is whether or not he received those carries because he is truly the guy who gets to carry the load next year or because he offers such a change of pace that not having him on the field doesn’t give you a full complement of the offense you can run.  Stockton also has the best high school stats of anyone on the team. Stockton has electric speed outside, but has had problems running between the tackles.

Player: Justin Stockton
Height/Weight: 5-10/192
Class (2016): Junior
2015 Stats: 347 yards; 59 carries; 5 touchdowns
HS Stats: 2,159 yards; 180 carries; 38 touchdowns

Option 2

Demarcus Felton is my pick to click to step into Washington’s shoes.  Via the DT’s Jeremy Krakoski, running backs coach Mike Jinks said that Felton might not let Stockton back on the field if given an opportunity (a bit of hyperbole, but you get the idea):

“I told Stock, don’t let Felton get on the football field. Because if (Felton) gets on the football field, he might not ever come off,” he said. “So we’ll compete, we’ll push one another. Usually it’s stuff off the football field that determines the starter, but they’re all great kids so we see what happens.”

Felton resembles Washington the most physically to me and he seems like he’s got enough wiggle between the tackles to find those creases, where as Stockton is more straight line in terms of how he runs.

Player: Demarcus Felton
Height/Weight: 5-7/190
Class (2016): Sophomore
2015 Stats: 73 yards; 5 carries; 1 touchdown
HS Stats: 1,783 yards; 227 carries; 11 touchdowns

Option 3

Corey Dauphine was one of the jewels of the 2015 class, a running back with a ton of potential that maybe was realized very late in his high school career. A sprinter as well as a running back, it’s been said that he’s added 15 to 20 pounds since he arrived on campus, so he is probably around 195 to 200 (the weight is from the official site’s roster).  RRS’ Aaron Dickens spoke with Jinks about Dauphine:

He has been over there getting beat up on the scout team, and we have been getting great reports from them that he has been playing physical which is what we want out of our running backs. All in all in every team situation and every scrimmage that we have had, he has flashed. We’ve seen that explosiveness already. We are excited about his potential.

Dauphine was a physical runner in high school and the reason his high school stats don’t measure up to Stockton and Felton’s is because he shared time with another highly rated running back.  Until I get to see Dauhine in the spring game, I’ll be a bit hesitant to give him the reins because I think Felton is really talented too (we just tend to forget about how good some of these guys are).  I could honestly see a pairing of Felton and Dauphine, 1A and 1B, with Stockton being moved all over the field, from wide receiver to running back to inside receiver to an something I haven’t thought of.

Player: Corey Dauphine
Height/Weight: 6-0/194
Class (2016): Freshman
2015 Stats: Redshirt
HS Stats: 1,215 yards; 179 carries; 9 touchdowns

Option 4

Quinton White is the least talked about running back, although there was talk early in the year about moving White into more of a fullback role. That hasn’t happened all that much this year, so I’m not sure where White will eventually fit.  Those high school stats are from his senior year, I think he was maybe injured, but had over 1,300 yards as a junior.  Felton also had better numbers as a junior.

Player: Quinton White
Height/Weight: 5-7/209
Class (2016): Senior
2015 Stats: 29 yards; 9 carries
HS Stats: 835 yards
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