Fall Camp Preview: Running Backs

Fall camp is about to begin for the Hurricanes so lets take a closer look at the team. This piece focuses on the running backs.

Coach: Terry Richardson (2nd season)

The Players: Mike James (5-11/220/Sr) ... 157 for 719 yards (4.6) and 11 TD's; 37 catches for 241 yards and two TD's
Eduardo Clements (5-9/195/Jr) ... 23 for 114 yards (5.0) and one TD; 15 catches for 172 yards
Maurice Hagens (5-11/240/Jr) ... 7 for 21 yards (3.0); six catches for 57 yards
Dallas Crawford (5-10/190/R-Fr)
Duke Johnson (5-9/185/Fr)

Top Returner:
James played behind Lamar Miller last season and had a solid season. He's averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his career and has always done a solid job moving the chains while coming off the bench. He emerged as a very good short-yardage back last season, even when Miller was getting a lot of carries. He's also a proven pass-catcher. He's also one of the leaders on this year's team.

Top Newcomer: Johnson has a chance to be really special. He helped lead his Miami Norland team to the state championship while having one of the best single-seasons in Dade County history. He was a five-star recruit who has big expectations coming in as a freshman this fall.

Bottom Line: Miller left early and was an excellent running back for the Hurricanes. He's playing with the Dolphins now and won't be easy to replace. James has always been solid but hasn't always shown flashes to become an every down back for Miami. Clements saw an increased workload toward the end of last season and should see a large increase in carries. Crawford started out as a safety but had a solid spring on offense. His biggest asset is his ability to catch the ball on third downs. Hagens had just 13 touches in Fisch's first season so he's used primarily as a blocker, and a good one. Johnson's the most talented running back on the roster but likely won't see a major workload right away because of his age and size. He has the potential to be a game-changer, though, even as a true freshman this fall.


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