As the Bearcats get ready for Bearcat Bowl II on Saturday night it’s time to look at the running back position and how they performed during the spring session.
Jacob Ramsey has worked hard during the off-season and looks the best I’ve ever seen him and I’ve been following him since his junior year of high school. He’s got the physical size and ability to be a major weapon with the ball in his hands and has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and also pick up the key blocks on blitz packages.
The other good thing about the Bearcats running back setup is the play of John Goebel. If you don’t like how Goebel runs you’re not a true football fan. This kid has a great work ethic and is capable of being the number one guy on many teams. He can catch the ball out of the backfield as well as block.
Both players are capable of lining up outside and take on a receiver’s role to make defenses have match-up problems.
As good as Ramsey and Goebel are, the next group of players have yet to reach where they need to be. While each has a skill set that is usable, they have yet to put it all together and make the jump that would list them as a key backup if the season started Saturday. Much work is needed by the remaining backs if they don't want to be left behind this fall.
Ramsey and Goebel must stay healthy and someone needs to step up their game and show they are capable of getting the job done. Trammell Williams, Scott Johnson and Montez Patterson run the risk of being left behind if they don’t show up in preseason camp ready to battle. Each player is young and we should expect improvement from them in the coming months. Johnson just made the move back to offense this spring, Williams has seen his highs and lows but has talent and Patterson is still showing like he's a freshman.
With Ramsey having two seasons and Goebel having three left on the field the future is very bright. Look for one or two of the true freshmen (Pead, Williams, Winn) to be given the chance to get playing time this fall. If any of the three incoming players do what is expected the position will continue to have depth and strength in the coming years.
What We Know
Ramsey and Goebel are the guys that need to get the job done. The three headed running back used by UC over the past couple of years is gone and Brian Kelly needs his running back to be productive. An improved offensive line will play a key role in the running back success, but the talent displayed by Ramsey and Goebel places the position in good hands.
For a true freshman to come in and play a role this fall means he’s worked very hard to learn all areas needed for success on the field. Because of the talent level of the three backs don’t be surprised if two play roles and move ahead of the others. If I had to pick two right now I’d go with Isaiah Pead and Darrin Williams as being players capable of making such a move up the depth chart so early.