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Pullin' Tail... Backs

Hello interwebs! I’m Minnesotahorn and I manufacture and sell outrageous opinions, wry observations and light hearted homophobia! Yes I understand that market’s already saturated and that my products are of a lesser quality than my competitors but you have to understand that I grew up in a Chrysler family. Enough said right? That being the case, feel free to read this and all future posts as a monotone feminine admonishment.

"Lights are on... tail back recruiting."

We're likely about to gain the commitment of Darius White and we're looking better and better for Jackson Jeffcoat. For the most part you just chuckle and shake your head as it's the very definition of embarrassment of riches, particularly in Jeffcoat's case. Unfortunately for all its success this class is missing the same thing our classes have lacked since 2005: an elite running back.

Now in recruiting, running back is probably the easiest position to evaluate (setting it completely at odds with wide receiver). Great backs are born, not made and if a dog will bite you, he’ll bite you as a pup and love grows where my Rosemary goes and you get the point. The thing is these clichés came about because most of what makes a great runner is inherently bestowed and not coachable. Sure you can teach him to block and improve his hands and in some cases alter his body lean but his vision, his start-stop and his ability to get to top speed are all things he’s born with and they manifest themselves on the football field early. Because of this, running back evaluation is one of the strong points of the recruiting services and you can generally feel pretty comfortable about what you’re getting when you sign a back they consider elite. Now obviously there are exceptions and if it makes you feel better to mention them, knock yourself out. The rest of us will move forward.

In 2005 we signed Jamaal Charles, under ranked at 57 on the Rivals 100 due to qualification/size concerns. No matter. Anyone who cared to look could tell Charles was an elite runner. (Amusingly, Vondrell Magee would occupy that very same 57 slot the next year. Viewing film of those two back to back indicates a top end potential chasm a mile wide. Who was it that was just extolling the abilities of the recruiting services? ) Since that time we’ve failed to sign a back in the top half of the Rivals 100 and unless something unforeseen happens, that’ll be true again this year. Given our history, location and current competitive position that’s almost unfathomable. Let’s take a quick look at how we got here:

In 2006 we chased and gained a commitment from Emmanuel Moody with a big assist from The Almighty. Fickle as the Lord of Lords is, Moody later opted for USC and later still Florida’s bench. We saw Michael Goodson for the Trips Right level miscreant that he was and took a pass.

2007 was a down year for in state talent and our best option looked like Lennon Creer. Another number 57 (what’s the deal with that?); I don’t think anyone would classify him as elite and he chose Tennessee anyway.

Ah, the infamous 2008. We chose not to offer Jermie Calhoun and to pursue Darrell Scott to the (extremely) bitter end. We get our first introduction to Thayer Evans. Joy.

In 2009 we decided early on that we wanted another back and let that preclude the possibility of adding what looks like an incredible talent in Christine Michael. Now he gets to waste his career at Texas A&M. That’s like giving a Rolex to a retarded Chimp. Sure he likes it because it's shiny and it fits in his rectum but he's a couple dozen millennia away from the evolutionary level required to truly appreciate such things.

In 2010 there’s the much talked about Lache Seastrunk. If you want to be optimistic about that it’s your business.

Now none of this is meant to disparage the guys we have on campus. In my opinion they range from very good to intriguing to serviceable. Unfortunately that’s usually not enough against quality defenses as our zone blocking schemes are simply more of those noble ideas crafted by high minded dreamers without regard to real world application. Like Marxism or The Hot Carl.

John implores you to imagine a world where Jason Glynn can reach block a three technique in the morning and perform the Cincinnati Bulldozer that night.

Alas, life doesn’t work that way.

So through a mixture of bad luck, opponent malfeasance and choices by our staff we’re at the point where the coaches, for the second spring in a row, tell us about how no running back has really stepped up to grab the job. Well, yeah. Throughout last year no one ever did but since Colt McCoy is a Terminator it didn’t really matter. That could well be the case again but it’s not anything to rely on and this is Colt’s last year of eligibility.

Where that leaves us is performing the now annual tradition of identifying the top backs in the next class and pronouncing them our ground game saviors.

This time around we call them Malcolm Brown:

and Aaron Green

and they’ll both be in town this weekend for Texas Relays and the Spring Game. I’d like both.