Recruiting: 2011 Running Backs

The Irish showed the ability to run the ball late in the season without standout Armando Allen. How does the future look for Notre Dame? We examine the running back position in our latest recruiting look.

With Cierre Wood looking to take his game up a level in 2011, the Irish know getting a running back in this class is a must. Here is a look at the running back position for 2011.

Where The Program Stands Now

Will Leave The Program At End Of Season:
Armando Allen – Senior
Robert Hughes – Senior

 Allen will be missed by the Irish coaching staff because of how well he picked up on what the team was trying to do offensively.  Injuries have kept fans from seeing everything Allen is capable of doing or the type of numbers he could have posted.

After getting a slow start, Robert Hughes played a huge role in the team's success in the final few weeks of the season.

Set To Return

(Class as of this season)

Jonas Gray – Junior

Cierre Wood – Sophomore

Cameron Roberson - Freshman

Jonas Gray is a veteran player who will need to continue working on his game and push those in front of him while keeping those behind him in his rearview mirror.

Cameron Roberson is a young player who fits what the Irish do from the running back position.  Will have a chance to take next steps in his development.

Cierre Wood will return to team having the most carries of any of the backs.  However, he must show the ability to hit the hole designed and hold onto the football.  Has the talent but must continue working hard on all phases of his game.

Shuffle The Deck

One look at the players returning shows why recruiting for the 2011 class is a priority.  Wood will have another year under his belt; however, he must show improvement in all phases of his game to be considered a consistent performer and one Brian Kelly will have no issues as going to full-time.

Gray and Roberson will both be at different sides of the spectrum as Gray will be in his final season and Roberson a year older with time on his side.

Any prospect looking at the Irish in the Class of 2011 should be expected to push for time on the field.

Recruiting In 2011

Cam McDaniel: The newest member of the Irish Class of 2011 will fit in very well.  Tough and hardnosed, McDaniel can be moved around from running back to a slot position. Will enter Notre Dame having played in an offensive attack much like Brian Kelly runs.  Can catch the ball out of the backfield and will have a chance to be part of special teams as a returner early.

George Atkinson is listed as a running back by but set to be a wideout for the Irish.  However, do not be surprised if Atkinson lines up in the backfield in some capacity. 

On Speed Dial

Savon Huggins is one target the Irish have been after hard.  Huggins is looking hard at the Irish and would be a great fit in the Notre Dame offense.  With his size, speed, and overall athletic ability, Huggins would be in a position to play early and often for Notre Dame.

Amir Carlisle is another back holding an offer from the Irish.  Carlisle reports that he'll visit Notre Dame officially prior to signing day.  On the field, Carlisle shows great change of direction and the hands to be a big-time player in the Irish offensive attack.

Change Of Heart

What else can be said about the change of direction shown by Justice Hayes?  The Irish felt they were solid with the Michigan native, however, his abrupt change in his pledge pushed the Irish to look hard at McDaniel and show Huggins and Carlisle early playing time can be had.

A Must Have

Brian Kelly and his staff must get a high quality back in this class for it to have the type of success desired.  Huggins or Carlisle would be great additions and getting both would be an even bigger advantage in the years to come. Top Stories