The confidence that the ASU coaching staff has in the returning stable of running backs is evident in the numbers that they recruited for the 2017 season which would be zero. So all should be good in the spring as we watch the top three battle for the top spot, right? Not so fast my friend. The names may be familiar at the top of the list but the competition for playing time may have to wait for fall camp. Why? ASU goes into the spring with two of their top three in recovery mode from injury and off season surgery.
IT’S WHO WE KNOW....
- Warren Wand 5’5” 179 Jr --The dynamite in a small package back that seems impossible to take down returns for his third year. Wand has rushed for 1588 yards on 318 carries in two seasons with 200 of those carries coming last year as he became the workhorse of the backfield. For the spring, Wand is the only one of the top three returning backs to come in healthy, so he will share the snaps but will be the only one taking physical contact. Expect Wand to take his place as the starter when fall begins.
- Johnston White 5’11” 188 RS Sr —The former walk-on turned touchdown machine (25 career TDs on 299 Att) had off season surgery on his wrist with what Blake Anderson termed a “bone issue.” So he will be going through spring in a non-contact mode while still getting his reps. White has been the deceptive slasher who is a change of pace back from Wand. Last year White ran for 472 yards on 105 carries and look for those numbers to be similar in 2017 as Anderson looks to balance out the work load in the backfield between three.
Armond Weh-Weh 6’0” 205 RS Sr --This former Texas Tech signee ran for 1223 yards on 153 attempts (8.03 ypc) and 11 touchdowns his final season at Scottsdale AZ CC before landing in Jonesboro last year. When he was recruited, the staff felt he could be a game changer with a combination of size and speed but unfortunately only saw action in 2 games in 2016 eventually injuring his knee against Auburn in week two. Weh-Weh only ended up getting five carries in 2016 and will be off limits to contact in the spring but Anderson feels he will be ready to go in the fall, giving some needed bulk to the backfield in 2017.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
- Daryl Rollins-Davis 5’9” 163 RS Jr —The talented kick returner / running back carried the ball 23 times for 108 yards in 2016 but has speed and moves to add something to the Red Wolves backfield. He may be one year away from being a serious contributor other than special teams.
- Logan Moragne 5’9” 197 RS Jr—He has mainly been a special teams performer with only 29 rushing attempts over two seasons but has 4.5 speed that he has flashed at times.
- Jamal Jones 5’9” 185 RS So—A highly touted recruit out of Memphis Trezevant in 2015 who had to redshirt his freshman year after an ankle injury in fall camp, it seems his best football lies ahead of him. Don't be surprised to see his name in the mix the next two years.