Spring Preview: Running Backs

The Hurricanes will kick off spring football on Saturday, March 1. Lets take a closer look at the team coming back in 2014. This report focuses on the running back position.

Dallas Crawford (R-Jr, 5-9/195) came to Miami as a defensive back. He spent time there and then as a scout team quarterback before getting moved to running back before the 2012 season. He played in every game last season but his breakout performance came against North Carolina after the starter went down. He finished that game with 33 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns. His other strong performance came against Duke when he finished with 110 yards rushing and 48 receiving. Crawford is a skilled pass-catcher and has solid running skills between the tackles. He's not a home run threat and lacks ideal size to move the chains on a regular basis. He's a player who can help you win games because of how many things he can do. He'll see an increased opportunity to showcase his running skills this spring with the starter still out.

Duke Johnson (Jr, 5-10/195) is the starter, and he's one of the best in all of college football. Johnson has rushed for just under 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons here. He's scored 19 total touchdowns in two seasons. One of the nation's most explosive running backs, Johnson suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Florida State and will sit out all of spring to make sure he's 100-percent by the time the season rolls around.

Gus Edwards (So, 6-0/225) is a big back who the Hurricanes used to run between the tackles last season. He averaged 5.1 yards on 66 carries for the season and became the team's short-yardage back at the end of the season. He lacks home-run hitting ability and won't be much of a factor in the passing game. However, he's a big back who runs downhill and should see an increased opportunity on first down this spring.

Joseph Yearby (Fr, 5-9/180) was a big time player at Miami Central High the last few years. The most talented running back on the roster after Duke, Yearby was a five-star kid who suffered a season-ending foot injury in December. He had surgery on it and will be forced to miss spring football because of it. He's expected to be ready to go for the fall and will likely play a big role once he returns.

Walter Tucker (So, 6-0/230) came to Miami as a linebacker before being converted to fullback during his freshman season. He saw action in eight games but it was almost entirely on special teams. With Maurice Hagens gone, Tucker will be given every chance to win the starting fullback job this spring.


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