While the quarterbacks were under the microscope, the running backs didn't receive the same attention with a full-toime back already entrenched in Jonh White. White spent parts of the spring on the sidelines watching, and didn't participate much in contact drills, trying to avoid injury. When out there, he looked bigger, stronger, faster, and more explosive.
Incoming JC running back Kelvin York was coming off a knee injury and his status for spring was unknown, but he was out there giving it his all. York ended up missing a few days of camp to rest and heal here and there, but was very effective when he was in, showing a great burst of speed, and lots of power. York was a beast runing up the middle, often taking multiple tacklers to bring him down. He's a real load and will get his share of the carries in 2012, assuming he can stay healthy.
Harvey Langi had an improved spring, but is still yet to show the flashes that many expected out of high school. His pad level is still a bit high at times, and his shoulder are almost never square, meaning a lot of wasted energy moving laterally instead of going downhill. The speed is there and he ran with more authority in camp, and is also the best receiving back on the team, but still looked inconsistent at times and isn't ready to get more than 5 or 6 carries per game.
Jarrell Oliver made it through his first spring camp admirably showing plenty of speed and power. He's still somewhat raw and had issues with blocking and blocking assignments, but has a very high ceiling and may be the best pro prospect of any of the running backs on the roster if he can put it all together. He's still a year or two away from more than just a couple of carries per game, but Oliver eventually will be an 800+ yard back.
Lucky Radley is a talented football player, but the concern is just that; he's a football player and may not be a running back. Radley had his moments in spring camp, breaking off long runs, and running with some power between the tackles, but he's buried behind more skilled runners right now . He has improved and could be an option as a slasher who lines up in the slot sometimes.
Inside The Utes Depth Chart:
What Happens Next:
John White is your starter and with sufficient blocking in front of him, will have no trouble going over 1,200 yards in 2012. Great blocking, an injury free season, and plenty of carries and White has the ability to be a 1,700 yard back. Kelvin York needs to stay healthy. He was more consistent than Langi as a power back, and runs with more authority. At this time, he's a better compliment to White, but will need to stay healthy. Now we get to Langi, who was better in spring than he was during the 2011 season, but didn't appear to make the significant strides that many anticipated. A redshirt season is a possibility, but not likely. Harvey just needs to work on getting those pads lower and churning his legs after contact if he wants more carries. Oliver may run with the most power of any of the backs and that will get him a look and a couple of carries early in the year to see how he handles game situations. He must improve his blocking though. Lucky is still buried. He'll get a few opportunities, and don't be surprised if they use him in the passing game in five receiver sets with two backs split out. The carries will be tough to get though as there's just too much talent ahead of him.
Spring Review: Running Back
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