Arizona has been inconsistent running the ball during the Mike Stoops era, but that seems poised to change now that Rich Rodriguez brings his offense to Tucson. Rodriguez’s read option is certain to make Arizona’s run game benefit, but who are the running backs who will benefit?
Assumed Depth Chart
Ka’Deem Carey 5-10, 203, So.
Daniel Jenkins 5-9, 195, Jr.
Kylan Butler 5-7, 186, Jr.
Greg Nwoko 6-1, 237, RS Sr.
Taimi Tutogi 6-1, 260, Sr.
Jared Baker 5-8, 192, RS Fr.
J.T. Washington 5-7, 165, Fr.
Terris Jones 5-7, 177, Jr.
Elliott Taylor 5-10, 186, RS Jr.
The Wildcats appear to have a very solid crop of runners who should benefit from Rich Rodriguez’s system. They have a very deep group, but the group is not proven. Despite a ton of productivity their potential is impressive.
Last year the Wildcats seemed poised to use a variety of runners, but relied heavily on senior Keola Antolin. Although Daniel Jenkins and Ka’Deem Carey seemed more than capable, they had trouble wrestling carries away from the senior.
That was frustrating for Wildcat fans as they saw a potential star emerge in Carey, Although he looked to have all the makings of a top tier running back, the coaching staff seemed hesitant to use him at times. Carey showed flashes of being a great player, but also had some disciplinary issues as well.
All indications are that the new coaching staff isplanning on giving Carey his carries.
“His talent speaks for itself,” said co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee. “I’m really, really looking forward to working with him and helping him improve.”
The one thing that jumps out at you is the number of smaller backs on the roster. Five of the nine running backs are 5-9 or under, with three of them being listed at 5-7.
Carey and Daniel Jenkins are good sized backs who can run between the tackles, but are better when they can get in space. Neither are bruisers, but they are not undersized either.
They also bigger backs in Greg Nwoko and Taimi Tutogi, who will spend more of their time blocking, but can be used in short yardage situations. Tutogi has also shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
The variety of the backs is intriguing to Magee.
“We have had the really, small, fast, quick guy,” explaind Magee. “We have had the powerful guy. We have had the slasher. The offense is suitable for all types of backs. As a matter of fact, we kind of want to change the pace with some different kind of backs.We have had guys over the years who have really adapted to what we’re doing, and we have a lot of things we can adapt to them.”
For our VIP Subscribers, stay tuned for a more detailed breakdown of the Wildcats’ running back unit.