It will be really interesting to see what Clawson does with this position going forward. I would expect multiple guys to get reps out of the backfield during games. Keep an eye on Cade Carney and Matt Colburn who shared the majority of snaps at the position last year, as well as Christian Beal.
Overall it’s known that we have two strong running backs in Carney and Colburn, so this position watch is really more about who emerges as the third guy to get reps.
Cade Carney gives the Deacs a running back who is capable of staying on his feet through contact and breaking open big runs. He is a major reason why the running game was so successful last season than in previous years, and should only continue to grow going forward. If you want an example of what Carney is capable of, look no further than last year’s Duke game.
Matt Colburn did a great job of stepping up when Carney went down with an injury last year. When Carney came back, Colburn gave the Deacs a dynamic duo, as he showed off his own skill set that gave defenses a different look and kept them guessing at times.
Tyler Bell has given the Deacs some good work out of the backfield the past couple of years, but is sidelined this spring with a torn knee ligament that could impact the fall as well.
Arkeem Byrd was a surprise grab for the Deacs in 2016, and now has a chance to show he belongs in the rotation with Colburn and Carney.
Christian is another local guy that Clawson and his staff have convinced to stay in the Triad. He has enrolled early, so I will include him here as someone to watch this spring. He is an all-around athlete, and a guy I really look forward to seeing in Old Gold and Black. It seems like every time I turned on the local news on Friday night, there were highlights of him faking out defenders and breaking open long runs for touchdowns. For information on Christian Beal, check out the excellent signing day profile on BSD.
With the consistent running of Carney and Colburn, hopefully one of Byrd or Beal can show that they can break a long run and add a new dimension to the Wake running game.