This is the first post in our “Breaking Down the Beavers” series that will take a position-by-position look at the Beavers heading into this season. It’s important to keep in mind that there’ll likely be roster changes right up to the first game. This post will focus on the Beavers running backs.
Storm Woods (SR): 766 yards, 5 TDs; Chris Brown (JR): 91 yards, 2 TDs; Damien Haskins (SOPH): 49 yards, 1 TD; Jaylynn Bailey (SOPH); and Marcus Greaves (SOPH)
Terron Ward (graduated).
Tim Cook (JR via JUCO): 639 yards, 7 TDs in 2014; Deltron Sands (incoming freshman)
If history is any indication, expect the Beavers to run the ball a lot under Gary Andersen — and between the two of them, Storm Woods and Chris Brown provide nice versatility. Woods catches well out of the backfield and is a good blocker, while Brown has great straight-away speed and can reel off big runs. Plus, Haskins could be excellent in short-yardage situations.
Woods has battled injuries here and there during his career, and Brown and Haskins haven’t had a ton of carries. So depth is a concern. One injury could derail the Beavers’ offense because the running backs have to take the pressure off the passing game. That’s why the addition of Cook is huge, literally. He’s a bruiser at 6-1, 235 pounds.
If all goes well, Woods should be able to rush for 1,000 yards this season in Andersen’s system, and ideally, Brown would add 500+ yards. Call it Simonton-McCall part 2. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cook make noise with his size and speed. While a lot of pundits will say receiver is the strength of the OSU offense, the running backs will play a huge role and could put up big numbers.
Go Beavs! (RW)