The Beavers saw significant growth out of their primary running back last year, Yvenson Bernard, in the second half of the season. Part of that credit goes to the offensive line, which became a stronger unit in working together to create bigger holes for the backs. This led Yvenson to earn the title of 9th best running back in the NCAA for rushing yards, averaging 120.1 yards a game.
The Beavers also have two other solid backs in Clinton Polk and Patrick Fuller. Polk joins the Beavers as a junior college transfer out of Scottsdale Junior College. Clinton averaged 83.9 yards per game in Junior College, 29th overall in the nation.
Fuller is a sophomore out of Covina, California, who ran the ball 12 times last year for 30 yards. He also added 32 more yards receiving. Clinton is a powerful back with good speed, and is a potential punt or kick returner, along with competing for playing time at tailback.
Look for Yvenson Bernard to continue to improve throughout this year, and for Clinton and Patrick to also earn considerable playing time. The running game is going to play an even bigger role in the offense than last year, to make up for lost yards in the passing game. Short yardage situations should be much easier, as tight end Joe Newton is back in the line-up, and Yvenson Bernard continues to improve.