Matt Colburn is a 5'10", 200 lb sophomore running back. The former South Carolina "Mr. Football" was one of the three true freshmen (along with fellow RB Tyler Bell and QB Kendall Hinton) who led the Deacs in rushing yardage in 2015. Colburn rushed for 239 yards on 66 carries, and his 3.6 ypc led all running backs on the team. Colburn scored one touchdown last year, in the season opener against Elon.
While Bell was given about twice as many carries as the first option in the running back depth chart, Colburn was named the starter for several games throughout the season and received double digit carries in four games. These included the Florida State game, where he tallied his best performance of the season with 51 yards on 11 carries.
Colburn underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the offseason. His spring recovery meant that he was not on the field for the Spring Game, so we don't have much visibility on where he may sit in Clawson's pecking order heading into the 2016 season. That said, as we've discussed in previous posts, the running back depth chart is very much in flux as Wake returns its three most productive running backs (Bell, Colburn, and Isaiah Robinson) as well as highly-touted redshirt freshman Rocky Reid, and adds two exciting true freshmen in Cade Carney and Arkeem Byrd.
Based on his performance last year, and assuming his recovery continues smoothly, I believe Matt Colburn will play a meaningful role in the offense this year. As the second option and sometimes starter at running back last year, he proved to be a reliable option in picking up short yardage while also breaking out for runs of around 20 yards in half of the games he played. Given the number of options Wake has at running back, I fully expect the RB picture to remain blurry until close to the season opener, and to continue developing during the course of the season. Regardless of his exact spot in the depth chart, Colburn should be a regular contributor to the rushing game.