Cowboys Depth In Focus: Running Backs

I remember the first important carry by Rennie Childs as a college running back. Childs had carried once in a win over Texas-San Antonio with a four-yard gain. However, it was a few weeks later in Stillwater against TCU when the fans were getting a little perturbed about the running game when Childs took a handoff and speared into the defense for about an eight-yard gain.

He would later score a touchdown and finish with 45 yards in the win over the Frogs. Just like the Cowboys needing an infusion of talent and determination, take your pick back on that afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium against TCU, the Cowboys need that and more at the running back position.

There is a "help wanted" sign up right now for the Cowboys. Head coach Mike Gundy, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich and new running backs coach Marcus Arroyo are looking for an answer, for a player that will grab the position and not let go.

Childs got first crack this spring and it was what he wanted.

"Yes, I want the position," Childs said. "I want to be the guy. I feel like I've handled it pretty good. [Gundy] challenged me to become that future back. I feel like I've done a great job, but there's always room for improvement, and during the summer I'm going to continue to better myself as a player."

Childs has shown the ability to be that kind of back as he has a strong running style, very good straight-on speed and now thanks to about five pounds dropped he is running a sub 4.5 in the forty and he has more wiggle in his repertoire.

"It’s going pretty good and I know five pounds doesn't sound like much but it has made a difference," Childs said. "The offensive line is opening up the holes so they're going to be able to make plays and showcase our skills. So far this whole unit, us running backs, we've done an excellent job I feel."

Chris Carson is a beastly-style back who is originally out of Georgia. He was set to go back and be a Georgia Bulldog before an Algebra class set him back at Butler C.C. in Kansas and opened the opportunity for Oklahoma State to jump in and convince him of the need for him to come to Stillwater.

There are other options at running back but all of them seem to have an asterisk of some kind. Sione Palelei sat out contact in the spring as he is still overcoming a second ACL since high school.

Todd Mays came in from junior college national champion East Mississippi and did well in the spring but was hurt and missed the spring game in the end. Determined Caleb Muncrief, Raymond Taylor, and Corey Bennett are all eager and hard workers, but the Big 12 demands a back that is a cut above and they would need to prove that is where they are heading into the season.

Childs is the leader in the clubhouse, but Carson is coming this summer for a challenge in August. Oklahoma State needs to hope it is a case of steel sharpening steel.

Here is the rather easy to determine depth chart heading into the fall.

Running Back
23 Rennie Childs, 5-10, 200, Jr., Houston (Cy-Ridge), Texas
1 Chris Carson, 6-1, 220, Jr., Butler County C.C., Kan./Lilburn, Ga. (arrives summer)
22 Todd Mays, 6-0, 205, Jr.-Tr., East Mississippi C.C./Olive Branch, Miss.
2 Caleb Muncrief, 5-8, 190, Jr., Madill, Okla.
30 Raymond Taylor, 5-9, 195, Jr., Kansas State/Wichita (Collegiate), Kan.
27 Corey Bennett, 5-9, 205, Sr., Choctaw, Okla.
33 Sione Palelei, 5-10, 215, RS-Fr., Gonzales (East Ascension), La.
42 Keegan Metcalf, 5-11, 210, Jr., Okla.Baptist/Elk City, Okla.
37 Mark Brown, 5-10, 185, Fr.-Tr., Lamar/Katy (Seven Lakes), Texas

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