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RB Depth Chart Primer: Can Pokes Find 1-2 Combo Again?

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We looked at quarterbacks on Thursday, but let’s turn to what could be an intriguing position for Oklahoma State in 2017, the running back spot. I think Oklahoma State is going to have a true sophomore and a true freshman as its 1-2 punch in the backfield.

Running Back
  1. Justice Hill – So.
  2.  JD King – Fr.
  3. Ja’Ron Wilson – RS Fr.
  4. Jeff Carr – Jr.
  5. LD Brown – RS Fr.
  6. Chuba Hubbard – Fr.

My official prediction is Hubbard ends up redshirting so that depth chart is based off that assumption. If he ends up playing that will shake things up a tad, he probably has the most natural ability of the group outside of Hill.  Basically Nos. 2-5 is an educated guess on my end. I haven’t seen film on Wilson but I’ve heard really good things, and OSU could really use his size in the run game.

The great part about the tail end of last season is that the Cowboys had a true two-headed monster at RB. Hill is a game-changing cut-back runner, someone who will actively look for cut-back lanes and take the play in a different route than it’s intention based off the flow of the defense.

Chris Carson was the perfect example of a front side RB you can run strong side power off of, the type of runner who will more than likely see a play through even if a strong safety shows run support because of the physicality of the runner. I think it’s pretty critical to have both styles of runners, to keep downhill linebackers and safeties from picking up on tendencies. OSU desperately needs to find someone to replace Carson, and King or Wilson seem like the most likely candidates because of running style.

“(J.D. is) pretty much like me, except he’s a little bit bigger,” confirmed Hill at practice last week. “He runs hard, and he knows how to pass block.”

Hill has another burst that no one else in the group has. He is electric in the open field and is so quick.

The next step for him is to turn into more of a three-down back, being able to produce in the passing game and becoming an effective pass blocker as well.

Carr is really a one-style back, and he is kind of the forgotten man. But given the fact that people are going to be afraid of this passing game, the draw run game is an easy way to expose a called pass defense for chunk yardage on the ground.  Carr also bulked up over the off season, I would expect him to be the third down back a lot to spell Hill, especially if a secondary rusher isn’t established.

Carr can be used effectively in the draw game.

The last few years OSU has had trouble identifying the right mix of RBs. Wwe finally saw the production once they found the right group last year. Let’s hope Gundy and Yurcich are able to find that mix this year sooner than later.

Regardless, Gundy is adamant about the future of the RB in Stillwater.

“That is going to be a special position for us over the next four years,” he said at the Cowboy Caravan in Tulsa this week.


Previous depth chart previews:

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