A big key for the Rutgers offense to take a step forward this season that hasn’t been given as much attention is the potential for explosive play out the backfield. Running backs is arguably the deepest position group and the offense needs them to play a major fact this fall.
Sam Brown is back after a foot injury that ended his season last October. After a promising freshman campaign, how quickly Brown can get going is obviously a huge key. His potential to control the game with his hard running style is a skill set that Rutgers desperately needs.
Kyle Monangai has had some big moments before and should have opportunities once again this season to be a factor. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but it will be interesting to see how new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca utilizes him.
Head coach Greg Schiano praised Aaron Young after the second scrimmage on Saturday.
“He is getting back to his old self,” Schiano said. “He has done some good things. Her is a valuable player because he’s gotten a lot of Big Ten reps. He is an experienced player so I think he is going to fill a lot of different roles—running back, third-down back, special teams and a myriad of those. It’s good to have grown men.”
Young’s ability to make plays in the passing game is another skill set that Rutgers needs to be showcased this season.
The x-factor in the backfield is Al Shadee-Salaam and his elite speed. He does have natural explosiveness but whether that can be harnessed on the field this season remains to be seen.
Listen and watch to the third of ten positional previews regarding the running backs for Rutgers football below. Joining me for all of these upcoming episodes is football writer and Rutgers fan David Anderson.
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