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Little experience, but tons and tons of talent

NCAA Football: Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

We assume that running the dang ball will be a priority for new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino, but with the loss of Devon Achane, who’s going to be there to do it? Let’s take a look and see

Who did we lose?

Obviously losing Devon Achane (drafted 83rd by the Dolphins) is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Achane ran for 1100 yards last year, including a workhorse 38 carries for a 215-yard performance against LSU.

Beyond that, sophomore LJ Johnson, a former 4-star RB out of Cy-Fair, transferred to SMU, where I fully expect him to compete for a starting gig.

Who do we bring back?

  • Amari Daniels: Daniels was using sparingly (which is mostly on the RB rotation—more on that later) throughout the season but had a solid 11 carry for 83-yard performance against Auburn.
  • Le’Veon Moss: High ceiling/high floor player. Former 4-star/top 100 running back in the class of 2022.
  • Earnest Crownover: Did an excellent job playing FB last year.

What other names should we know?

Freshman Rueben Owens is a 5-star back out of El Campo, TX who averaged 8.4 yards a carry his senior year. We’ll see him in the rotation pretty quickly and it wouldn't be a shock at all to see him starting at some point his freshman year.

David Bailey is one of the more intriguing transfers into the A&M program. At 6’0, 235 lbs, Bailey is a prototypical “big back” kind of guy that Petrino has loved. Over his career at Boston College and Colorado State, Bailey ran for 2400 yards, averaging 4.3 yards a carry. Good experienced guy to have on a fairly young roster.

Overall Grade: B+

I might get yelled at for this, but the only reason this group isn’t an A is a lack of experience. The potential is jumps off the page. But we’re relying on a roster of guys with fewer than 200 carries total under their belt to support this offense.

Missing from this roster discussion is the addition of Marquel Blackwell from Ole Miss, replacing Tommie Robinson in the RB coach position. This is notable given Blackwell’s management of Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans last year. Judkins and Evans combined for 2400 yards total, and the rotation was a key reason why. Hopefully, Blackwell can bring some of that same wisdom/magic (or whatever you want to call it) to this roster full of talent.

Check out our other position previews to get you prepped for the 2023 season: