A quick glance at the RB's

The Wildcats have been blessed with terrific running backs the past few years. Trung Canidate, Clarence Farmer and now Mike Bell have given the Cats some of the better runners in the Pac-10. We take a quick look at the Cats' running back situation as fall camp gets ready to start.

Position Coach: Kasey Dunn
Returning Starters: Mike Bell HB (10 starts), Gilbert Harris FB (3 starts)
Starters Lost: Clarence Farmer (1 start, graduation), Beau Carr (1 start, left team)
Top Reserves: Chris Henry HB, Pedro Limon FB,
Newcomers: Chris Harris HB (re-joined team)
Departures: Gainus Scott HB (converted to DB), Bret Bolden HB (converted to DB), Sean Jones FB(converted to linebacker)
Mike Bell is the star. The coaches praise him at every turn and claim they'd like to get him 30 touches a game. After that things are a bit less clear. Gilbert Harris has been a full back, but seems poised to play mostly at halfback. Chris Henry has linebackers size and sprinter's speed. Chris Harris has never had a regular season carry.

Fullback will be a little used position in the offense, but Pedro Limon will see a lot of time in short yardage situations and all the other fullbacks are walk-ons.

2004 DEPTH CHART

  NAME YEAR HT WT HOME
  HALFBACK        
1 Mike Bell RS-JR 6-1 218 Phoenix, Ariz (Tolleson)
2 Gilbert Harris JR 6-2 223 San Antonio, Tx (Churchill)
3 Chris Henry RS-FR 6-0 220 Stockton, Cal (Edison)
4 Chris Harris RS-SR 5-10 190 Elysian Fields, Tx (Elysian Fields)
  FULLBACK        
1 Pedro Limon RS-JR 6-0 244 Douglas, Ariz (Douglas)
2 Ryan Shirley SO 5-11 240 Tucson, Ariz (Mountain View)
3 Matt Pettit RS-JR 6-2 230 St. Peters, Mo (Orange Coast CC)

2003 STATS

PLAYER RUSH YRDS AVG TD LNG
Mike Bell 168 920 4.6 6 69
Gilbert Harris 3 8 2.7 1 4
Chris Henry 14 33 2.4 0 12

Notes: Bell is the Pac-10's leading returning rusher…Chris Henry was a high school sprint champion…Chris Harris returns after a year away from football to run track…Dunn was available after the Mike Price fiasco at AlabamaArizona did not sign a running back in the 2004 recruiting class…Arizona and their opponents both averaged 3.9 yards per carry last season…Bell averaged a great 5.5 yards per attempt…Henry played in two games before getting injured an preserving his redshirt…The Cats had a lack of depth, but moved three running backs to defense, two after the start of spring drills…Bell was the lone Wildcat named to the All-Pac-10 team…

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E-mail Brad atbradallis@msn.com


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