In Sunday’s Oklahoman, I broke down what’s sure to be another intriguing spring quarterback competition.
That piece is going to serve as the first of a position-by-position look at the 2013 Cowboys. The series will lead right up to the start of practice on Monday.
Next up? Running backs and fullbacks.
Joseph Randle, declared following junior season for the NFL Draft
2012 stats: 274 carries, 1,417 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 28 catches, 224 yards
Jeremy Smith, senior
2012 stats: 70 carries, 371 rushing yards, eight touchdowns
Desmond Roland, junior
2012 stats: 46 carries, 301 yards, four touchdowns
Caleb Muncrief, sophomore
2012 stats: 14 carries, 57 yards
Who arrives for fall camp
Rennie Childs, freshman
Corion Webster, freshman
Randle’s early departure for the NFL leaves OSU without one of its most reliable, versatile and explosive offensive weapons. But it’s long been regarded that Smith would have started on most Big 12 squads the past two seasons, and he’ll finally get his big shot as a senior. Smith is a tough, downhill runner with more speed that he gets credit for, but he must work on his pass-catching out of the backfield. Additionally, health is a concern as Smith moves into the every-down back role, as he’s missed stretches of the 2011 and 2012 season with various minor-but-nagging injuries.
The spring is also big for Roland and Muncrief, who both got spotty playing time last season but are in contention for more carries. If they don’t produce, they run the risk of being passed over by a pair of incoming freshmen in Childs and Webster.
Other running backs on spring football roster
David Paulsen, departed senior
Kye Staley, senior
2012 stats: Zero carries, 12 catches, 166 yards, two touchdowns
Teddy Johnson, junior
2012 stats: five tackles on special teams
Dominic Ramacher, redshirt freshman
Staley’s feel-good story will get its final chapter in 2013 after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility. He’s proven valuable as a blocker and occasional pass catcher. With less experience at running back, could Staley perhaps get the occasional carry out of the diamond formation in 2013?
Ramacher, who was rated a four-star “athlete” recruit, is an intriguing young player. He played tight end and linebacker — and was J.W. Walsh’s backup at quarterback — in high school and has great size at 6-3 and 230 pounds.
Other fullbacks on spring football roster
Here’s the rest of our series:
Wednesday: Receivers and tight ends
Thursday: Offensive and defensive line
Friday: Linebackers and secondary