Gator Position Analysis: RB Strengths and Weaknesses

For the next couple of weeks we will take a look at each position on the Florida Gator football roster and talk about their strengths and weaknesses as we head into the 2016 season.  There was a lot of turnover on both sides of the ball in terms of personnel, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Today we’ll start with the running back position.

Expected Contributors: Senior Mark Herndon (5-9, 203), Junior Mark Thompson (6-2, 242), Sophomore Jordan Cronkrite (5-11, 204), Sophomore Jordan Scarlett (5-10, 213), Freshman Lamical Perine (5-10, 215)

Strengths: There is lots of size in this group.  All five of them go over 200 pounds and Thompson well over that mark. There is also some real speed in the group; none of them are slow while Scarlett and Thompson are speed merchants.

This is a group like they haven’t had in several years. Most of them are capable of taking it the distance on any play and that was an issue with one of my favorite players from last year Kelvin Taylor. Taylor worked harder than anyone on the field and was productive, but there is a difference between productive and difference maker. There are at least a couple of difference makers here.

The ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is there as well at least with Cronkrite and Thompson. Scarlett is also proficient at the swing passes, but it is to be seen what he is like when down field catching the ball.

Depth is a plus and that depth is ready to go from day one, unlike a year ago when two rookies came in during the summer and had to find their way early in the season.

It should be a very strong group overall.

Weaknesses: As I said, Taylor was a favorite of mine and one statistic that is pretty mindboggling from the young man is that he never fumbled the ball in his entire career at Florida. He put up well over 2,000 yards rushing in his three years and not one time did it leave his hands.

Thompson for one has had an issue with that and we saw it in the Orange and Blue Debut.  Dependability is a big thing. Do we know we have it from this group?

To a lesser extent experience is something that could be a weakness. I am reaching a little here because both of the sophomores had a good bit of time on the field a year ago, but none of them have been the man yet. The staff would like all of them to share that lead role.

Comparison to 2015: The big contrasts between last year and this one could be dependability and game breaking ability. If they become dependable with the ball in their hands in terms of not turning it over, then there really should be no comparison to a year ago and this unit should be much better overall.


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