Campus Insiders spoke with Notre Dame insider Allen Pinkett to discuss the Fighting Irish’s stable of running backs for the 2016 season.
C.J. Prosise was the leading rusher for Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish last season, running for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns on 157 carries. Prosise is now preparing for his rookie season with the Seattle Seahawks, and Notre Dame is facing a season in which it will have to rely upon a stable of talented running backs to manage possession and control the clock.
Campus Insiders spoke with Notre Dame football insider Allen Pinkett about the Irish’s backfield situation, and Pinkett believes the group has what it takes to be extremely successful.
“I’ve always felt that an elite team has more than one running back.” Pinkett said. “I think back to some of the old USC teams, some of the LSU teams, where they have six runnings backs, and they’d throw all six of ‘em at you. So, Notre Dame has a stable of running backs, and I think the guy who’s gonna’ take the lead is Josh Adams, who only had 835 rushing yards last year as a freshman. You know, when I look at him, he reminds me of Eric Dickerson. He’s had a very, very impressive camp.”
While Adams is looking for an expanded role in 2016, Pinkett is bullish on the entirety of the backfield.
“You’ve got Dexter Williams, who was a freshman, who got touches last year also. And they return Tarean Folston, who was the starter at this time last year. So, they’ve got three, maybe four quality running backs. If you can throw all of them at a defense, it’s just going to really wreak havoc on a defense,” he said.
Folston was slated to be the starter for Notre Dame last season but went down in September with a torn ACL. A year later, Pinkett sees big things ahead for the senior running back.
“He’s put in the work. He’s trained very hard. He’s a positive guy. And he’s the type of guy that doesn’t necessarily need the crowd to cheer him on, just as a personal thing. He’s got a reason for coming back, and he wants to play. He’s a good teammate. [There are] a lot of positives with Tarean Folston. I think he’s gonna’ be a solid addition to that backfield,” Pinkett said.
There will be competition for the Irish at more than just running back, though. DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire will battle it out for the starting quarterback position.
Regardless of which player wins out, the starter will have a reliable three-headed monster in the backfield to carry the rock.
The Irish kick off their season on Sept. 4 against Texas in Austin.