Replacing a great one.
Before we take a look at the Cougars pre-spring depth at running back, here are a few notes from around the league.
The Oregon Ducks still cannot stay out of trouble and Ian Furness had a guy join him yesterday from Oregon Sports Net to discuss. After a few arrests last week, the weekend featured more of the same when a linebacker was arrested for DUI and suspended for the 2010 season. Wide Receiver Jamere Holland was subsequently booted from the team for a very explicit Facebook post. Funny, but I don't remember these kinds of shenanigans going down under the watchful eye of Bill Moos.
Please stop it Oregon, this is getting downright embarrassing.
Vince Grippi has a great column and interview with Jim Sterk as he departs for SDSU.
Meanwhile, on Sunday night's edition of Q It Up Sports, Quincy Pondexter not only talked about how great he thinks he is, but he guaranteed victory in Pullman in this weekend. If I remember correctly, the last time a Dawg guaranteed victory over the Cougs it ended a little something like this. Not to mention the Mutts on the road are nothing short of awful. With Klay having already decided to return to Pullman next year, maybe he can concentrate on putting the rock in the hole.
Now let's take a look at the pre-spring depth chart for Running Backs, based on eligibility:
Chantz Staden (RS Sr), 5'10", 202 lbs: Staden appeared in 11 games in the 2008 season and racked up 141 yards on 52 carries (2.7 YPC). Also served as our primary return specialist in 2008, returning 43 kick offs for 22.5 yards an attempt. He sat out all of last season with a knee injury, but according to Longball, he currently looks a lot beefier.
Marcus Richmond (RS Sr), 6'1", 220 lbs: After posting record setting numbers coming out of high school in Arizona, Richmond has posted very few yards on less than 40 carries in his Wazzu career. Does provide nice depth, but can't envision him even taking a snap this year. Will likely be behind Montgomery, Staden, Mitz and Winston.
James Montgomery (RS Sr), 5'10", 202 lbs: According to Coach Wulff, the Cal transplant should be fully recovered...but not until Summer Camp kicks off in August. Was without a doubt our best back before going down with a freak injury against Hawai'i last season. Averaged 4.5 YPC on 37 touches. Expect good things from Monty playing behind a more experienced OLine, with a much better blocking scheme.
Logwone Mitz (RS Jr), 6'1", 224 lbs: Unless he has a breakout year before he leaves, Mitz will likely best be remembered for his 59 yard scamper to get the Cougs fired up and on the scoreboard during the 2008 Apple Cup. Mitz showed me some great flashes last season and I think it should translate well this year. When I was on the sideline of the Notre Dame game, he broke off some really nice chunks of yards and when I turned and asked John Johnson whether Mitz will be a Junior or Senior next season, JJ responded "Junior" with a big smile.
Carl Winston (So), 5'8", 197 lbs: Had his redshirt burned last season after Montgomery went down with an injury. Had 36 carries for 142 yards (3.9 YPC). If the team can remain healthy, you would love to see a redshirt applied to this kid, much like they plan to do with Alex Reitnour on the OLine. Showed some elusiveness reminiscent of Jerome Harrison.
Arthur Burns (RS Fr), 5'10", 206 lbs: Don't know a ton about Burns other than he get moved to Linebacker late in the season, due to injuries, but didn't play. Tons of depth at LB leads me to believe he will be carrying the rock for us. Rated the #68 RB in the land coming out of high school in 2009, with 4.45 speed!
Overview: With James Montgomery apparently out for spring ball, I would imagine a fierce competition amongst Mitz, Staden, Winston, and maybe Burns and Richmond to be Monty's backup in the Fall. Love the depth at this position, and I guarantee that with better play from the hogmollies up front, this group will reap the benefits. These guys have the ability to give the team at least 150 yards per game on the ground, and that would be a drastic improvement over the 848 yards in 2009.
That is all for today. Go Cougs!