Cobb looks like the man in backfield

(EAST LANSING) - Junior running back DeAndra Cobb appears to be the odds-on favorite to take over the starting running back duties for Michigan State this fall.

Both returnees at the position, Jaren Hayes and Tyrell Dortch, were moved this spring to the defensive side of the football leaving Cobb, freshman Jehuu Caulcrick and senior Jason Teague as candidates to take over the starting position.

Smith seldom likes to start freshmen which leaves Cobb and Teague competing for the starting position. Cobb appears to have taken the lead in an early spring scrimmage.

"The running game was a positive," Smith said. "It's important to get the running game going, so we can take some pressure off of our inexperienced quarterbacks. I also like the fact that there's some competition for playing time at running back."

Competition certainly brought out the best in those backs [in the scrimmage]."

Cobb turned in an 18-carry, 101 yard performance which pleased Smith. "Cobb came on strong late in the scrimmage and ran with some toughness. [He] has the ability to make guys miss tackles plus when he runs with toughness, he can break tackles. [He] broke a few big runs today. He has the ability to make a guy miss a tackle and then put the ball in the end zone," Smith said.

The Las Vegas, NV native sensed the competition being provided by the freshman Caulcrick and knew he had to increase his intensity.

"It felt good to find a rhythm late in the scrimmage," said Cobb. "I got off to a slow start because my legs felt heavy. I saw Jehuu (Caulcrick) and Jason (Teague) break some runs, so I wanted to get back on the field and take my game up a level or two.

With MSU starting an inexperienced quarterback this fall - either freshman Stephen Reaves or sophomore Drew Stanton - a good running game in the hands of Cobb could be the newcomer's best friend.

Cobb aims to be that guy.

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