Will Muschamp is quickly building a powerful backfield in Gainesville. Much like Nick Saban has had the last few years with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, the Gators are poised to have a very talented backfield for the next few years.
In 2010, the Gators were able to land highly touted Mack Brown, who ended up redshirting last fall. This year’s class adds Mike Blakely, ranked the 6th best running back in the country by rivals. And Muschamp has shown he is still not content, adding verbal commitments last week from Matt Jones and Mike Davis for the 2012 class.
Both recruits have a lot of upside and have had plenty of offers thus far. So these are big wins for the Gators.
A lot can happen between now and next year, but getting in early is key. We all know that some of the players create the drama of committing and decommitting, however, getting to them early plays a lot towards getting them enrolled in January, which is very beneficial.
Muschamp has suggested he wants a strong running game in his new pro-style offense and the current list of running backs enrolled or verbal committed will certainly help. Brown, Blakely, Davis and Jones are all just under the 200 pound mark, however, should all exceed 200 pounds once they land in Gainesville and start working out with Mickey Marotti.
In 2011, the Gators will have the privilege of also having Jeff Demps in the backfield. Demps will be the starter most likely and share time with Mack Brown. Demps will provide the speed on the corner that no one can match. If Brown shows strength between the tackles, the running game in 2011 should be promising, probably not flashy or pretty, but promising.
If you add Hunter Joyer to the list, the backfield adds a solid fullback that will help the young runners develop. I also would not be surprised to see one of the current tight ends on the roster transition into a fullback role.
The tight end position is currently loaded with talent. The position just does not demand a three or four man rotation. Transitioning one or more over to fullback would add some more depth. Both positions require a lot of the same skill sets.
Weis would love to see his fullback be able to get into the flats and make some catches, so look for this position to start being a conversation piece as the Muschamp era continues. For the past six years, the fullback position has been an afterthought. Not any longer.
Remember, John Brantley will need a strong running game to help him in the early going. His confidence level is going to be low when he steps into The Swamp the next time, he will need an instant running attack to let him gain his composure and confidence.
Muschamp’s priorities are showing vastly already in Gainesville, as his team takes shape, the backfield looks very promising.