Three-Headed Monster At Running Back In 2009

Many teams are going to offenses where they employ multiple backs in different situations and the ISU football team is no exception. The Cyclones have three backs each with distinct styles in Alexander Robinson, Bo Williams and Jeremiah Schwartz.

"Bo is a little bit of a combination (back), Jeremiah is a power guy, and I am more of a scat back," Robinson said. "It is a changeup of styles on how you are playing and its pretty hard to adjust to."

Coach Paul Rhoads said having three backs with different characteristics, especially in new offensive coordinator Tom Herman's offense, will make each of them tougher to stop.

"All three of them bring something different to the table," Rhoads said. "They have to realize what their style is and get proficient at it."

Robinson is coming off a season in which he split carries with Jason Scales and JJ Bass at times. Robinson rushed for 703 yards and six touchdowns on 153 carries and also caught 17 passes. Robinson had a 100-yard game in a close loss to Colorado and started nearly every game, missing the Kent State game with an injury.

Rhoads said in his media day press conference that Robinson, the only one of the three with game experience, would be the starter.

"He has the chance to be a special player, especially in this system," Rhoads said. "He catches the ball well, he has great vision and toughness, he can make people miss and run away from people, and if we get him space he will be dangerous."

"I just need to get better as an overall player every day," Robinson said."

Williams is a 6-0, 220-pound sophomore transfer from Florida with a blend of power and speed that was shown on a couple of long runs during spring scrimmages. Schwartz is a redshirt freshman that packs a powerful punch at 5-11, and just over 230 pounds with a downhill running style.

Both will provide defenses with a different tendency after seeing more of a finesse back with moves and speed like Robinson.

"The other two are obviously pretty big backs, so they bring a little more power than I do," Robinson said. "Both of them have pretty good speed for their size."

Rhoads said it will be a big positive to have such talented players behind Robinson.

"Jeremiah and Bo are chasing (Robinson), but in this system, as much as people go on and off the field, you can do that with backs, too," Rhoads said. "Tackling all three are different propositions and you get used to tackling certain types of backs in the course of a game.

"Now you bring in somebody else and you wait for a move and you get yourself trucked; that's a whole different thing that those guys can bring," Rhoads said.

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