Can Ryan McCants, Jeremy Francis, and Jacquizz Rodgers do what Yvenson Bernard did in 2007 in 2008?
That's the question. All three running backs possess different styles. McCants is a strong, physical back that reminds a lot of people of Steven Jackson. He practiced with the first string throughout spring, and looks to have the job heading into fall camp. Jeremy Francis may have the most resemblance to Yvenson Bernard. The 5-11 junior is a tough, side-to-side type runner who is also a good pass receiver. And then there is the 5-7 Jacquizz Rodgers, who many are calling a "scatback". Jacquizz rushed for 8,245 career yards in high school, the sixth highest ever in the state of Texas. The man can run, but the question will be if he can out-run Pac-10 defenses. His brother did it last year, so we can only hope Jacquizz duplicates.
You may remember that when Yvenson Bernard was tossed into the system in 2004 as a freshman, hardly had any carries. But with the departure of Steven Jackson, Yve became "the man" in 2005 and rushed for a career-best 1321 yards his sophomore year. Check out Bernard's stats:
It's also interesting to note that Yvenson averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Consistency.
If I was a coach and I had a back who would gain four and a half yards every time I gave him the ball, I'd be thrilled.
Who is going to give us those yards this season?