Tiger Position Preview: Running Back

Heading into Fall Camp, Missouri returns 3 backs who have game experience. As a freshman, Larry Rountree rushed for 703 yards and 6 TDs on 126 carries (5.6 yards/carry). He emerged from Spring Football as the starter. Crockett is close behind. After coming back from mid-season shoulder surgery, Crockett essentially served as a co-starter throughout the Spring. Through his first 2 seasons (17 games) at Missouri, Crockett has rushed for 1543 yards and 12 TDs on 233 carries (6.6 yards/carry). Dawson Downing saw action in 4 games last season. He rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries (6.1 yards/carry). Red-shirt freshman Isaiah Miller had a big Spring. He was taking some first-team reps, and it appeared that he had moved ahead of Downing on the Depth Chart. Then, he suffered a serious ankle injury, and he had to have surgery. He's supposed to be ready for Fall Camp. A couple of true freshmen are on campus, in Simi Bakare and Tyler Badie. I'm looking forward to seeing them during Fall Camp. It's not out of the question that one of the freshmen, Bakare in particular, could claim that #3 RB spot, and therefore earn some carries. Here's kind of what the Depth Chart at running back will look like to begin Fall Camp: 34 Larry Rountree 5’10” 210 (So) OR 16 Damarea Crockett 5'11" 230 (J) 22 Dawson Downing 6’0” 225 (So) 4 Isaiah Miller 5’10” 200 (RSF) 20 Simi Bakare 6'0" 205 (F) 6 Tyler Badie 5'10" 186 (F) 43 Jerney Jones 5'10" 195 (So) 45 Ezra Vaoifi 5'11" 220 (So)

Under Derek Dooley, it looks like we'll see more traditional utilization of the running back position. It certainly looks like we'll see more utilization of the running backs as receivers out of the backfield. As we head into the 2018 season, I'm looking for a more effective run game, especially against the better competition, and in the red zone. It looks like the Tigers are well-stocked at the running back position.