Commentary: Utah running backs a key influence on Dennis Erickson and Brian Johnson

Published: Sunday, July 14 2013 10:27 p.m. MDT

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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Most assumed York would inherit the starting running back job left vacant by White. Despite strong performances from Williams, Poole and Radley in York’s frequent absence from spring ball, the 5-foot-11, 225-pound Fullerton College (Calif.) transfer should still be the first among them to take a carry this season.

York is the antithesis of scatback White. He is a smashmouth player, not just in style but in durability. Though turf toe limited him in spring ball, he has proven himself in real-time situations. In the five games last season where he got five-plus carries, he averaged a respectable 4.8 yards per rush. He was the lone highlight of an embarrassing September defeat at Arizona State, when he gained 86 yards on 13 carries. Injuries kept him out of the Utes’ first three November contests before he got 10 carries in the season-ending win over Colorado.

He maintained his value as the top ground option in the April 20 Red-White Game, when he had seven carries for 35 yards.

In 2010, he rushed for 1,478 yards and 17 touchdowns for Fullerton. His MVP-performance in that year's California Community College Athletic Association's Golden Empire Bowl garnered him offers from Washington, Ole Miss and even Oregon.
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xert
Santa Monica, CA

Wow! Thretton Palamo was a rugby player, huh? I never knew that. You would think that somebody would have mentioned it before. I wonder if the coaches feel that, with hard work, his rugby skills might not translate into football success? Just a thought.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA

I hope Jarrell Oliver (and his foot) will be ready in the Fall. He's got a TON of potential. York is solid, and [Karl] Williams had an outstanding Spring, but in order for us to open up the passing game, we're going to need a dominant running game. Travis Wilson should be much improved under Center over last year, but he's still a little light on the experience, so the RBs are going to have to take as much pressure off him as possible.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

It's going to be a great season I know it.

Go UTES!

ImaCaMan
Oceanside, CA

Having a deeper, and hopefully, a better Offensive line will make a difference this year.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA

xert:

There were multiple articles written on Palamo's transition from All-American Rugby player to FBS Football player last season, so it's not news anymore. Palamo was initially tried out at RB/FB, but subsequently shifted over to the Defensive side of the ball as a hybrid LB/DE. Nevertheless, his playing time was very limited.

Broom Hockey Champ
Scottsdale, AZ

York = injury-prone; won't play more than 5 games
Williams = walk-on and slow is a nice combo for success
Radley = not really that lucky
Poole = cooler nickname than any plays he'll make on the field

Who are the rest of these guys? Seems like even the DNews has trouble distinguishing between them.

raisedaute
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You will definitely know their names after the game at the Y. Broom hockey wizard

jdub1942
PROVO, UT

@Broom Hockey Champ,

I can agree with you on a few points. York is injury prone and I don't see him playing in more than half the games this season. Secondly the DNews does seem to be having trouble distinguishing players, but it's not like the local media is renowned for their acumen in the college scene. I seem to remember JWIV not distinguishing himself before his first season on the hill either, however.

AZUTE1
Mesa, AZ

jdub1942--

"I seem to remember JWIV not distinguishing himself before his first season on the hill either, however."

I assure you, after the whooping JWIV put on 2-Star byu in his lone appearance against them, to the tune of 54-10/174 yds/3 TDs, they'll most certainly never forget him, guaranteed!

Anybody who followed our recent Spring camp closely knows we're straight loaded at RB and the never before seen pure speed we have incoming this Summer merely adds to it. Young, alone, ran the 3rd or 4th fastest 200-Meters in the nation this last Spring! We've never had this amount of speed on our team, ever!

AZUTE1
Mesa, AZ

I'll add that it'll be interesting to see the impact of Coach DE involving our stable of RBs w/in our passing game, as well. Our O-Line is large and powerful, not to mention deep/healthy, and is built to dominantly run-block, but involving our RBs w/in our passing game will take pressure off of them as they develop their pass-blocking abilities, in compliment!

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