August Camp Preview: Running Backs

In 2006, the Colorado offense may stretch the field more than in recent seasons, but it will still feature the running game. Inside, a look at the Colorado running backs as August camp is less than two weeks away.

What's Up, Junior?: Some of the most productive years by Colorado running backs came in their junior seasons. Rashaan Salaam won the Heisman and Chris Brown ran for 1,744 yards as juniors. Going into his junior season, and his second fall as the featured back, Hugh Charles could be primed for a big year. The 5-8, 190-pounder is a weightroom warrior and has breakaway speed. The offensive minds on the CU staff plan to utilize that speed. But don't be surprised if the offense morphs into a running back by committee later in the season as backups develop.

Who's No. 2?: Running backs coach Darian Hagan has stressed the importance of north-south running since he took over the job prior to spring ball. Senior Mell Holliday moved into the backup role behind Charles with his combination of quick feet and willingness to take on defenders running between the tackles. Holliday, however, will have ground to cover if he wants to keep that spot after spending the summer back home in Omaha. Junior Byron Ellis needs to display a more physical style, but has the opportunity to earn carries. Redshirt-freshman Kevin Moyd showed flashes of ability in the spring, but Hagan wants to see more than flashes if he's to count on the Florida product.

The New Guys: The athletic department is still working with Compton Community College to secure transfer Thomas Perez' transcripts and get him qualified. It may come down to the wire on his eligibility. If he plays, you like his combination of size and speed. Freshman Demetrius Sumler has a between-the-tackles body and will also get a look. But a key for both players in getting into games will be how quickly they can pick up the pass-blocking schemes.

Fullback Outlook: It remains to be seen how the new staff at Colorado will use the fullback. But when they do, junior Samson Jagoras – who has drawn praise from teammates over the past several months – will likely be on the field.

Word from the Coach: "In this offense it's more of a downhill running game, a point of attack, hit you in the mouth type of running game. It's real simple—hit the hole. …That's what I tell those guys: Go in there with the mentality that I'm going to get 4-and-a-half yards.' That's my goal, and if we're doing that, we're moving the chains." — Darian Hagan

Running Backs
34 Jake Behrens, FB, 5-11, 235, Fr.-R
2 Hugh Charles, TB, 5-8, 190, Jr.
22 Byron Ellis, TB, 6-0, 205, Jr.
37 Mell Holliday, TB, 5-8, 205, Sr.
42 Samson Jagoras, FB, 5-10, 230, Jr.
23 Kevin Moyd, TB, 5-8, 190, Fr.-R
31 Thomas Perez, RB, 6-1, 220, Jr.
8 Demetrius Sumler, RB, 5-11, 215, Fr.

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