Arkansas State returns a lot of its offensive weapons this fall.
We at AStateNation.com will break down each position offensively and defensively with each of the position coaches for the RedWolves to get their take on who is returning and how things are going with their position.
Our first position in this feature is the running back position.
The running backs are coached by veteran Arkansas State Coach David Gunn. Coach Gunn is going into his 10th season with ASU and is apparently excited about this year's group of athletes.
Gunn will depend on two seniors this fall for team leadership and experience at the position.
"We have Derek Lawson, who has been Mr. Dependable for us for sometime now," Gunn said. "Derek isn't known as a speed back, but can pick up five or six yards before you even know it."
The other senior will be Jermaine Robertson, who was recruited as a fullback, but was moved to the tailback position because of his athletic ability.
"Jermaine is a great athlete," Coach Gunn said. "His nickname is Bull and he is a very physical back. He has a lot of potential and provides great leadership for the younger guys on the team.
With Lawson and Robinson as the seniors of the group, Gunn will also rely on some youth of the group. True sophomore Sir Grergory Thornton started some as a true freshman and gives the team its best opportunity for a home run threat guy.
"Anytime we get the ball in Sir Gregory's hands he gives us that threat of going the distance," Coach Gunn said. "Thornton has been hampered with some injuries. He has a hip bruise that has kept him from being full speed. He should be full speed by fall camp."
One of the biggest surprises this spring was the play of non scholarship player Sherodrick Smith.
"Smith played as well as any of the backs did during spring ball," Gunn said. "It will be interesting to see how things shake out during fall camp."
The Red Wolves received great news last week when red shirt freshman Frankie Jackson met grade requirements and found out that he will be eligible this fall.
"With Jackson and the rest of the guys we have the position we are as solid as we have been at the running back position in a long time," Gunn said. "I feel really good about going into the season with this group of guys."
Coach Gunn is also excited about running the same offense for the second straight year. While many may think a spread offense isn't designed to help the running game, Gunn feels just the opposite.
"I would compare our offense more to Auburn's spread attack," Gunn said. "We spread the defenses out and the running backs will get a lot of one on one opportunities. Having backs that will make defenders miss will be a big plus for us this fall."
Spreading the field will also open up big running lanes.
"You spread the field to throw and you create better running lanes," Gunn said. "That's what excites me about this offense."