Roster Analysis: Running back

Arizona has some stability at running back, but a few questions as well. Read on for a closer look at what the Wildcats will bring to the field this season.

Now that Spring football is complete, it is a good opportunity to take a look at each position and where it stands going into the summer, continuing with running back.

Nick Wilson did not participate much in the spring due mostly to the coaching staff wanting to keep him healthy.

If Wilson was not expected to be the man at running back this season, he probably does not get that treatment, but it is apparent that he is clearly the best back Arizona has.

When healthy, Wilson is one of the best backs in the country, but the goal is to make sure that he is able to be effective in each game. Ideally, that means that Wilson gets less carries and another player can take the load off a bit.

That brings us to senior Jared Baker, who easily looks the best he has since arriving to Arizona.

Baker is another player that is clearly better when he is healthy, but has not had a season where he has been able to remain there.

During the spring, Baker looked like he has gotten faster and has kept his strength on as well. His build is perfect for what Arizona likes to do on offense and if he is healthy, it would not be a stretch to see him get around 10 carries per game.

We don’t expect Baker to challenge Wilson at being the best back on the roster and neither should you, but he should be good enough to contribute.

Beyond those two, it is a complete toss up. Zach Green seems like the logical option, but he has had three years to get in great shape and is not quite there yet.

This feels like a make or break type of season for him, so it would not be a surprise to see him get a legitimate chance at being the third back to get carries.

Jonathan Haden got a few carries this spring, but continues to be used more in the slot. He is one of the fastest guys on the roster and had decent hands, so it would not be a shock to see him get more snaps in the slot with a guy like Tyrell Johnson getting a few carries.

Orlando Bradford is the wildcard and we won’t know much about him until he gets to campus. Running back isn’t the hardest position to learn, so he will have an opportunity to contribute right away.

The key here is balancing the amount of carries he will get with the worth of redshirting him.

Whatever the coaching staff chooses, it has options and probably more than a lot of other teams in the country.


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