Probable Starter: Kenny Williams, 5’ 9” 220, junior, Pflugerville, Texas
Backups: DeAndre Washington, 5’ 8” 180, sophomore, Missouri City,
Texas; Sadale Foster, 5’ 7” 185, senior, Riverside,
California; Quinton White, 5’ 7” 195, freshman, College Station, Texas
Battle: Could DeAndre Washington possibly unseat
returning starter Kenny Williams for the starting spot?
Over the last several seasons, Texas Tech has been well
stocked with solid running backs, none of whom were
superstars. Verily, one must go all the way back to 1998 to find a Red Raider
back who rushed for 1,000 yards—that would be Ricky Williams. That
refrain looks to repeat yet again in 2013.
Not that this is a problem. The Tech Air Raid, in its
various iterations, is not predicated upon having an Earl Campbell in the
backfield. Contrariwise, this offense functions at peak levels when a do-it-all
back is in the lineup. Red Raider backs need to be competent runners, blockers
and receivers; they need not master the running aspect of the position. And it
looks like new coach Kliff Kingsbury will be blessed with just these sorts of
Returning starter Kenny Williams rushed for 824 yards last
season, averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and caught 16 passes for good measure.
He’s a powerful, between-the-tackles runner, who breaks arm-tackles. Williams
is also a solid blocker who has also made himself into a reliable receiver out
of the backfield. He’s not a human highlight reel, but Tech can certainly win
games with him.
It will be fascinating to hear how DeAndre
Washington fares after his return from a knee injury that sidelined him all of
last season. Washington looked extremely promising two years ago as a freshman,
and supposedly tore it up as a scout team member in Thursday night football
last season. He’s a shifty scat-back who reminds me a bit of former Red Raider Taurean Henderson, one of the greatest receiving backs in
the history of college football. A fully healthy Washington could challenge
Williams for the starting role, and will definitely get copious snaps, even if
he’s not the starter.
Senior Sadale Foster, recruited to
be a return man, proved a very pleasant surprise as a back instead, last
season. He rushed for 451 yards and averaged five yards per tote, while leading
Tech backs in receptions with 18. Foster is another shifty back, but also has
tremendous straight-line speed as he demonstrated on a 50-plus yard TD jaunt
against West Virginia last season. Foster is also a very durable back, which is
no mean thing considering that Tech’s three other backs have all suffered
serious injuries in their collegiate careers. Foster will likely be a situational
back in the Red Raider attack.
The complete unknown is redshirt freshman Quinton White. He was reportedly impressing the coaches in workouts last
season before succumbing to a knee injury. But with all the talent in front of
him, White would do well to get more than mop-up snaps. Then again, running
backs take more punishment than any position, and there’s no such thing as too
much depth there.