Getting the Runaround

31 Aug

Wildcat fans need wait only three more days – including today – before heading back to one of the most beloved places in Manhattan: Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Instead of cheering on Daniel Thomas this season, the object of fans’ attentions will be …. well, one of four people, most likely. Although the team released a depth chart yesterday, head coach Bill Snyder is less than reassuring when it comes to that paper’s validity going forward.

“We’ve had 35 percent of all the practices that we will have for the entire year already, and we still haven’t made that choice,” Snyder said of the starting running back position, “so they may be – and may continue to be – competitive throughout the course of the year.”

As of now, transfer Angelo Pease is listed as the starter, followed by John Hubert, followed by Bryce Brown. And yet, the first running back Snyder described during Tuesday’s press conference was Robert Rose, who was not listed on the depth chart, and he compared the 5’4″ sophomore to legendary Wildcat Darren Sproles.

“I think Robert, even though he’s the smallest of the group, really is kind of a difficult guy to find,” Snyder said. “Remember how Darren was, and we always spoke to the fact that Darren was just a hard guy to find. Now he had ability and talent to go along with it, obviously, and so does Robert, but you put those big six, seven guys in there battling each other and he waddles between their legs. And he’s got good quickness, good movement as well.”

Of course, the coach also sees good aspects of the position from Hubert.

“John is a good movement young guy, changes directions maybe not quite as quick as Robert but still has good quickness, good change of direction,” Snyder said. “Both of them, even though they’re not very large, they do have some explosiveness to them and are not unpowerful runners.”

And then, oh yes, that guy who was ranked as one of the top recruits in the country just a few short years ago (Bryce Brown), and junior college transfer Angelo Pease, who came from Hutchinson Community College and is listed first on the depth chart, as previously mentioned.

“Angelo and Bryce bring a little bit more speed to the position,” Snyder said. “They’re a little bit bigger and just by nature of the structure, perhaps they’re a little bit more physical.”

It is not that Snyder does not want to make a decision; his preference would be to have one specific starter and a backup that would provide a change of pace, he said. That aside, running back may still be a fluid position. However, it will eventually be less fluid than it apparently is now.

“We can’t allow it to be four guys during the course of the season,” Snyder said. “We have to make some definitive selections and kind of go with it. That doesn’t mean that all of them can’t get on the field, and it doesn’t mean that all of them won’t, but it’s not going to be by a four-man committee, that’s for sure.”

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