Whereas the Horned Frogs are saying goodbye to a four-year starter and TCU legend at quarterback this year, they will have just about everyone back at running back in 2011. Ed Wesley will return for his junior season after rushing for 1,078 yards and 11 TDs this past fall, as will fellow junior-to-be Matthew Tucker (709 and 7), sophomore Waymon James (513 and 5) and junior Aundre Dean (223 and 1). So with all of the key ball carriers returning next year, we can expect a similiar breakdown of touches and yards, right?
The term I've used over and over again describing TCU depth at running back is "embarrassment of riches". Not only do they have the four guys mentioned above, who could all be stand-alone stars at just about any program- they also have two ridiculously talented redshirt freshmen who'll be pushing for playing time, too. We certainly don't want to sound like the Skiff in prematurely moving unproven freshmen past experienced vetereans, but at the same time it's hard to ignore the impressive pedigrees of Ethan Grant and Dwight "The Myth" Smith. Both are talented enough to have played as true freshmen in 2010, but Smith was obviously still coming off an injury and of course there was so much talent in front of them that burning a redshirt kind of seemed silly.
Luke Shivers, the Frogs' starting fullback, will surprisingly be a senior in 2011. Doesn't it seem like he just got here? He's been pretty reliable as a blocking back as well as the occasional option catching swing passes and carrying the ball in goal line situations, such as the winning touchdown against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Behind Shivers on the depth chart is...nobody. Tight end Logan Brock has played a little fullback in relief of Shivers, but with him poised to take over starting duties at his natural position it seems as though the coaching staff may want to find someone else to back up Shivers.
So how do you see the running back position developing in spring practice, this fall and beyond? How will the carries be divided amongst all of the talented backs? Will Wesley maintain his status as the #1 guy or will someone else challenge him for that spot? How will the redshirt freshmen figure into the mix? Will any of them change positions? Who will back up Shivers at fullback? I know you have an opinion, so let's hear it!