Kelvin York- The listed #1 going into summer. York is 5’11” 225lbs of bowling ball. He runs low to the ground and attacks defenders with his shoulder pads and a strong stiff arm. We saw glimpses of him throughout the season and got a taste of what he could do last year against ASU. He looked like the only offensive player who was still competing late into that game. He has the injury prone tag attached to him because of his knee injury in JUCO (which caused USC to cool on his recruitment so we could snatch him up)and then suffered an ankle injury toward the end of last year, and then missed most of spring with a turf toe. Luckily those last 2 were fairly minor and shouldn’t have any lingering effects. It appears as though his knee held up, so hopefully he’s capable of staying healthy throughout the season for us because I believe that he is the most complete RB we feature at the moment. York has great size, strength, and blocking ability while displaying average speed, vision, hands, and moves. If he stays healthy and the spread offense takes defenders out of the box I think he could eclipse the 1,000 yard mark and 10 rushing tds.
Next we have Karl “The Truth” Williams. He is the kind of player that Whittingham built his 08 team on and he showed just how hungry he was during spring ball. He is a very similar player to York but I have not seen the same speed and open field moves from Williams. Karl has shown more power running the ball though, and an ability to knock defenders down with his pads. This should get him into the mix for short yardage situations and will probably allow him to get into the endzone for us. He would definitely be my first option to start and carry the load if York goes down.
Lucky Radley is kind of a “Poor Man’s DAT” in the sense that he’s an undersized guy with lightning speed and fantastic cuts. If he had better field vision and a feel of how to use his blockers to hide him (and not get the football punched out of his arms by the last man to beat) he would be lethal. He has good hands and a natural ability to flow to open spaces in the flat as a receiver and Dennis Erickson has expressed that the RBs will be getting more balls thrown to them so I imagine that Lucky will get his chance to wow us with his speed and moves this year as a legitimate homerun threat. Lucky also gets my vote as the 2nd RB to compliment York’s style and give Utah a real Thunder and Lightning dynamic rush attack. But like I said I believe Lucky’s contribution will come mainly as a receiver coming out of the backfield and giving us those huge gains which will be big for the offense’s momentum and swagger.
James “Bubba” Poole another speedster with great agility is the 4th RB we saw during Spring Ball and I feel like some of the other’s may have over shadowed him because he’s not exactly “The best” or “The Most” in any skill category. I will say though that it looks like he does everything well. He has GOOD speed, Good cuts, Good vision, Good hands, etc….. and was a solid back throughout spring. Despite his taller stature I would still classify him as a scat back due to the ways he was utilized on stretch plays, screen passes and receiving in general. I think with more time in the program he may eventually become “the guy”.
I don’t know a lot about the other guys (Booker, Young, Williams-Sanders, McCormick)coming in later because I have not seen them grind against fellow D1 players yet and while highlight tapes are great they are also just the tip of the iceberg in terms of information on how a player will perform at the next level.
I guess I envision York as the Work Horse and Radley as the other RB that compliments him. It’s almost like two different positions with Williams backing up York and Poole/ Booker/ Radley all battling for the complimentary speed back with great hands that could hit a homerun on any given snap. So here’s to our new offense that got us excited in spring ball!