Ute football: 4 running backs hope to replace John White's production this fall

Published: Wednesday, May 15 2013 1:42 p.m. MDT

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Williams is a big, bruising back. He is the kid on the team that the coaches call a “football player.” He was asked to put on some weight last year to be a fullback. Now it has been asked of him to lose the weight and fight for the running back spot. When the coaches talk about him they smile. He does whatever is asked of him. When he gets the ball he is patient, yet powerful. One of the best compliments said about him this spring was from head coach Kyle Whittingham when he said: “He always gains positive yardage.”

He isn’t as fast as the other three, but he does everything really well. He runs between the tackles, runs outside, catches the ball, pass protects and never goes down on first contact.

There are four more names that will be in the mix this fall, players that signed with the Utes this spring: Dre’Vian Young, Troy McCormick, Devontae Booker, and Marcus Williams.
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pocyUte
Pocatello, ID

If York is healthy, he will be the workhorse. 50% of the carries go to him, with the remaining split between the other backs and qb. Look for Poole to be very effective out of the backfield. I think Lucky will get a lot of touches as well. It's better to have too much depth than not enough.

bigutefan
Las Vegas, NV

Does anybody know what happened to Jarrell Oliver? He was getting the ball before Radley a year or so ago, not sure what has happened? Thanks to whomever knows the answer!

CO Ute
PARKER, CO

Would also like to know the status of Oliver. Had heard he was injured and not able to practice in the Spring but possibly come back this fall. Maybe the DN can provide an update?

ScooterZG
Star, ID

Oliver had foot surgery I believe and thus him sitting out Spring as well as most last year. I believe it was during the BYU game that it happened.

If he can get back to form, post-injury, look for him to make a splash. He was right in position last year to nail down the back-up spot behind White before he got hurt.

The other two guys that will be interesting are Dre'Vian Young and Troy McCormick. Both have elite speed and have shown it during track season. Young just won the Texas 5A state title in the 400M with a time of 46.8 and McCormick's fastest 100M time is 10.52. IF they can adjust quickly Erickson will find a way to get that speed the ball in space.

u25
West Jordan, UT

Utah has never had so much talent at running back position. Its always been a starter and a back up. Its going to be fun watching them battle it out for playing time.

ScooterZG
Star, ID

I don't know that any one guy will become a standout or star, really it's tough to predict...not many expected it to happen with White the way it did. But I feel comfortable in saying that combined all of our guys should be able to match production.

While there is no proven star, the nice thing is that just about every back on the roster should be CAPABLE of being the guy for particular stretches. I wouldn't feel any worse about having Karl Williams back there as opposed to York...or Radley, or Poole. It's a level of depth we haven't really had for a while. Remember year before last...if we had more depth behind White during the Colorado game, instead of just Tauni Vakapuna...we win and are going to the Pac 12 Championship our first season in the conference.

It's all about depth, and quality behind the starters in BCS conferences...and we are starting to get there.

wwookie
Payson, UT

ute offense to be greatly improved this year, due mainly to the depth and level of talent. It would have been great to have White back, but one of these guys will step up. We also shouldn´t need as much reliance on the running game to get yards.

GO UTES!!

VegasUte
Las Vegas, NV

I really like the speed that Utah is picking up. Singleton, even though he is a 2014 WR, was another great pick up for the U.

Hey DN - when are you going to write an article about Singleton?? Get Dan on it!

Go UTES!!

sportyguy
sandy, UT

Kelvin York might be the only one out of this group to have a shot at any serious playing time.

Oliver will be back for fall camp and he was challenging York for carries before getting injured.

Devontae Booker and Devrian Young are thought to have a chance to come in and challenge York for the primary spot if they can pick up the system quickly enough.

Love Lucky but he has issues holding onto the ball. If I were to pick one out of the group that has a chance it might be James Poole since he is the best with the swing pass.

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