Football Preview: The Running Backs

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 08/24/2011
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Courtesy: Associated Press
Adonis Thomas celebrates one of his eight TDs last year.

The running back position is also loaded with talent, but the front-runner at that position is clearly established. Senior Adonis Thomas gained 1,098 yards, leading the league with an average of 6.3 yards per carry. A second-team All-MAC pick, Thomas seemed to get better with every game last year, gaining at least 130 yards in three of his last four games, including a career-best 193 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

Thomas is simply the complete package, according to Beckman.

"Adonis is durable, he's got good speed, he can run north and south and he can make people miss in the open field," said Beckman. "But what really separates him is his hands. He's really a great receiver."

Toledo's other backs include senior Morgan Williams, and sophomores David Fluellen and Darius Reeves. Williams was utilized more as a receiver in 2010 (20 receptions), but is an experienced back, having rushed for over 1,000 yards as a freshman in 2008. Beckman thinks Williams could have a big senior year. Fluellen looked good as a freshman, averaging 5.9 yards per carry in limited action, and has moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart in August training camp.

Beckman has been trying out junior David Pasquale at running back, as well. Up till now, Pasquale has been used as a "Wildcat" quarterback, but his size and power (6-1, 232 pounds) could make him an asset at running back.

"We've got proven tailbacks who are all very, very good players," said Beckman. "We may have to get two running backs on the football field at the same time more often this year."

Running Back Depth Chart
1. Adonis Thomas (Sr., 5-10, 185)
2. David Fluellen (So., 6-0, 215)
3. Morgan Williams (Sr., 5-11, 215)
4. Darius Reeves (So., 6-1, 202)
5. David Pasqaule (Jr., 61-, 232)

Tomorrow: The linebackers  - Your Source for Rocket Sports
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