As we inch closer to the 2023 football season, I will continue to break down each position group. Next, I'll take a look at the running backs. Obviously, the Tigers have a dynamic duo in Shipley and Mafah. We all know what they are capable of, and if they can stay healthy all season, it might be the best one-two punch in the country. James Davis is back on the staff, alongside his old running mate CJ Spiller, so we now have the original Thunder and Lightning coaching version 2.0!
The depth behind those two might be better than you think. I was impressed with Dominique Thomas last spring, and he's followed that up with a solid August. In fact, I'm told he had a great scrimmage last week. He has great hips and vision, and his teammates don't call him "Quadzilla" for nothing. That means powerful legs, in case you didn't know. Freshman Keith Adams, Jr. is a little behind Thomas because of his youth and inexperience, but he is a very capable backup who runs like a sledge hammer. You'd expect that from the son of linebacker like Keith Adams--he plays running back with the aggression of a linebacker. Dabo says that it's a business decision when you tackle Adams.
The next tier would be redshirt sophomore Kevin O'Neal from Tuscaloosa and the 3 freshmen: Jarvis Green from Irmo, Jay Haynes, also from Alabama, and Peyton Streko. None of the freshmen were high in the recruiting rankings, but Dabo has been high on what he's seen from them.
Most people think of Garrett Riley's Air Raid brand of offense as throwing the ball all over the field, but is very dependent on the run game as well. In fact, TCU's top two rushers combined for over 2,000 yards last season. So you can expect to see heavy doses of Shipley and Mafah this season!
More position analysis to come.
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