July 31, 2007
Position Preview: RB
While the quarterback is the most important position on the field in the spread offense, the most overlooked is probably the running back. Many times underestimate the impact of a quality running back in the spread offense because the emphasis is not on the run. But the importance of blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield and still being able to take a handoff for some yardage is crucial to making the offense go.
Baylor looks to have a couple quality prospects at the running back position, but we have lost a very good back in Paul Mosley and are left with some talented players that haven't proven anything at this level.
Brandon Whitaker is a running back that looks born to play in this offense: shifty, quick, able to make people miss. But there's a reason he has a reputation for dancing in the backfield, it's because he does it nearly every time he gets the ball. If he hopes to win, and keep, the starting position, Brandon is going to have to consistently hit the hole hard and run the play as designed, instead of trying to go Playstation on us when things don't look exactly as he expected them.
Part of this hesitancy should be expected. The offensive line he's been playing behind hasn't exactly been blowing the defense up in front of him, but they aren't completely the blame. Whitaker has also struggled at times to catch passes, the most glaring drop being a sure touchdown pass last year.
Jay Finley was a big pickup back in 2006. A three star running back ranked the #49 running back in the nation and #12 in Central Texas, he ran for 1,400 yards his senior year. He's been making a move this spring and summer and Morriss was reported to say that he thought that Finley would win the starting job this fall. Whether that is a coach trying to light a fire under Whitaker or if it's the truth, there's enough smoke there to believe that Finley is making an impression.
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