Spring Wrap: Running Backs

Spartan Digest takes one final look at the spring of 2013 and who stood out, who's a step behind, and who'll fill out the depth chart when the season opens. We start with what has to be the biggest hold to fill in the Spartans offensive attack running back.

One of the top running backs in terms of production has taken his game to the NFL and will be sorely missed when Michigan State opens up the 2013 season.

Where will the Spartans look? Spring may not have given fans the answers they were looking for.


While the loss of Kirk Cousins to graduation was a major loss fans felt Andrew Maxwell could at least handle the chores. The loss of Le'Veon Bell may prove to be one of the biggest losses during the Mark Dantonio era. Production, production and even more production by Bell were key in what success the Spartans had on offense.


Nick Hill, Jeremy Landford and Nick Tompkins each had a chance to state their case to be the Spartans top running back when camps open in the spring. Keep in mind, an offensive line with injuries and a split squad during the Green-White game is not a great way to determine success or failure. However, the move of Riley Bullough over to running back proves there are doubts about what success the Spartans coaching staff expects from the position.


Everyone expects one of the true freshmen running backs signed in the 2013 recruiting class to be given an early shot at earning playing time. While many are looking at R.J. Shelton and Gerald Holmes some talk have Delton Williams as being the player the Spartans will turn to with his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame.


2013 looks to be a rough one at running back and new offensive coordinator Dave Warner will have to be unique in his play design and calls during the season. Some sort of short passing game can help overcome the lack of a high level producer at running back. So look for the Spartans to spread the field more and look to get Hill involved in a short passing game to open up lanes and work with his strengths.

The future looks bright on paper with Tompkins and the three incoming freshman. The need to sign at least one power back is a must and a second all-purpose back is needed depending upon how the freshmen show in camp.

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