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Troy Trojans Unit Preview: Backfield

Troy’s first quarterback battle in four years coincides with a loaded running back battle. Who leads the Trojans into 2018?

Troy v Clemson Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images


Kaleb Barker- JR - 13 games, 8/13 for 143 yards, 21 rushes for 181 yards, 3 TDs

Sawyer Smith- RSo - Did not play last year

The quarterback battle in Troy is still fiercely under way. Both quarterbacks offer a running component to their game, and accurate passing has been reported so far in spring and fall practices. The nod right now feels to be towards Barker as he is the more experienced of the two, but that’s hardly a guarantee. In his limited time the last two years, he’s played mop up minutes to the tune of 400 total yards. Regardless of who will start, expect to see the backup see a series or designed plays mixed in throughout the season.

Running Back

Jamarius Henderson - JR - 45 rushes for 355 yards, 11 catches for 95 yards, 4 TDs

BJ Smith - JR - 27 rushes for 101 yards, 2 TDs

Jabir Daughtry-Frye - RSo - missed 2017

Henderson saw the most action last season, and begins the season as the conference’s 2nd team RB. Although he clocks in as one of the bigger backs, Troy’s new Athlete GPS system’s are tracking him as one of the fastest athletes on the field. BJ Smith adds experience to the position as well as burst, with praise throughout the spring practices from Coach Neal Brown. Jabir Daughtry-Fry is a wild card. After missing 2017 with a medical hardship redshirt, he returns fully recovered from the injury and Coach Brown has said they will look to get him touches in creative ways.

Projected Depth Chart

QB - Barker/Smith

RB - Henderson/Daughtry/Smith


Coach Brown has made it known that this will be a running back-by-committee. There’s a stable of running backs that bring different aspects, and all are going to be needed to replace last year’s feature back Jordan Chunn. Expect Henderson to carry the bulk of the load, with Smith getting plenty of runs, while Daughtry sees a handful of carries and ends up with the bulk of the catches from the backfield. Who will be throwing those passes is a mystery. Barker and Smith are both capable of leading an offense with both their feet and arms, but a successful offense needs one leader under center. As the saying goes -- if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. Expect to see a leader emerge the last week before the Boise State game, and I predict Barker winning it out.