The Favorite: Zack Moss (So)
Moss was in the middle of a breakout year before an injury prompted the return of Joe Williams. The rest is history as Williams never gave the spot back and Moss was relegated to a backup role in limited duty. Still, we've seen that Moss, as a true freshman, was able to carry the load for multiple games. As a sophomore, he should be able to do it for a full season should he win the starting job. Moss is built like a power back, but runs with a decent amount of balance of grace that makes him a formidable every-down type of guy. He has 1,000+ yards written all over him.
The Contender: Devontae Henry-Cole (So)
One carry. They burned his redshirt for one carry. Not that DHC was going to turn that carry down, but it seems like a bit of a waste. Henry-Cole isn't tall at only 5'8", but he's well built, and for slippery as can be. Watching his high school film, you see someone with good vision and the ability to slice through the tiniest of holes. If he's got the blocking game down, the sophomore should be able to provide a nice spark in a variety of ways while pushing Moss.
The Darkhorse: Troy McCormick
It's put-up or shut-up for McCormick, the oft-injured back who has failed to live up to potential, although through no fault of his own. When McCormick is healthy and has the balls in his hands, he's electric. Healthy has always been the problem though. With the new offense Utah is installing, direct hand-offs to the speedster out of Texas probably aren't going to be in the cards too often, but they can get him the ball in a variety of ways. Again, if he's healthy...and able to stay healthy.
With the departure of Joe Williams, Utah is losing one of the nation's top backs....again. Combine that with 4 offensive line starters gone and you'd think there'd be growing pains. If there are three things I've learned in covering Utah football, in this my eighth year, it's that the special teams will be good, the defensive line will be good, and they'll find a way to be productive in the running game. It's Utah's bread and butter, and even with a new offense that promises to pass the ball more, Utah is going to run it when they need to, and they'll do it well. They've got three backs that do different things well enough to compliment each other well. Throw in Armand Shyne in the fall and the Utes should be A-OK running the football.