Friday, April 19, 2013
Figuring Iowa State's RB rotation
By Vince Verhei
The good news for the Iowa State Cyclones: Shontrelle Johnson is still expected to recover from his torn ACL and return to the field this fall. The better news: Even if Johnson suffers a setback, they have five other quality runners upon whom they can rely. The bad news: That's a half-dozen running backs, and only one ball to go around between them.
“It's a good problem to have, to try to figure out,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads tells Luke Meredith of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.
"James White will likely close out spring practice as the incumbent starter after rushing for 505 yards — just 1 more than Johnson — with a team-high 5.1 yards per carry in 2012," Meredith writes. "Jeff Woody will continue to be the short-yardage specialist. But the glut at tailback forced Woody to explore other positions in an effort to expand his role, and he's been taking practice snaps at tight end since last season."
The other three running backs have played little, if at all, for the Cyclones. Aaron Wimberly ran for 1,150 yards and 13 TDs for an undefeated national junior college champion Iowa Western team last season. Sophomore DeVondrick Nealy got into every game last season, even though he carried it just 16 times with three receptions while battling through a nasty case of pink eye. Sophomore Rob Standard, like Nealy, is 5-foot-10, but Standard has about 30 pounds on Nealy and prefers to try to run through defenders rather than around them.