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Pre-Season Wake Forest Football Position Breakdown: Running Backs

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So there have been some changes in the running back stable, but we should still come out alright.

Belk Bowl - Texas A&M v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The two biggest running back names should be familiar to Wake Forest fans, as rising junior Cade Carney and now senior bruiser Matt Colburn will likely be the biggest contributors, with a somewhat unknown ability in Christian Beal getting a spot to shine.

Arkeem Byrd, interestingly and somewhat tragically, switched to a safety/corner position but tore his ACL in spring ball. I’ve got to go out of my way to give Arkeem my best, as I’m sure he’ll come back bigger and better.

Beal, at 5’10”, 180, will likely be a change of pace back who can also be a factor in the passing game (kind of like what Byrd did when he was at that position).

Colburn, being both a senior and a bowling ball from whom we’ve seen incredible things will likely be the primary workhorse, and Carney will most likely be a short yardage back, though we know he can also break off some pretty massive runs.

While I do think Colburn will probably be the lead back, it’ll definitely be a by committee situation.

Just as a refresher, Colburn had an absolutely breakout season, notching 904 yards and 7 TDs with an average yard per carry of 5.45, which was the most by a Wake Forest running back with at least 100 attempts since a freshman Josh Harris averaged 5.76 in 2010. He is 231 yards shy of 2,000 yards for his career and it’s hard to believe that he is already a rising senior.

Carney tallied 232 yards and a pair of TDs with a 3.7 YPC average. The key for him will be to stay healthy, as he has had some issues with that during his first two years at Wake Forest.

There are no stats to go off of with Beal, but I’m confident he’ll slot in nicely. He has shown a ton of ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and be a game-changer with his hands as well as his legs.

I think with Colburn and Carney both still being around, the running back corps will likely be pretty similar to last season. The bigger questions will be the health of the group and the hopefully continued efficacy of the offensive line.

Stay tuned to BSD for more position breakdowns in the coming days and weeks, and as always, go Deacs!

—SF