San Jose State Has Six Running Backs To Choose From
The Spartans have the depth at the running back position, but who will stand out?.
With an uncertain quarterback situation, the San Jose State ground game will be critical to jumpstart the offense.
Just like other sports, college football is an ever-changing game featuring players who land other gigs and move on with their lives.
San Jose State began life without running back Tyler Ervin last year. Ervin was a good influence on and off the field. Dozens of San Jose State football players visited Ervin’s apartment for much-needed haircuts from 2011 to 2015, but he also recorded a school-record 6,146 all-purpose yards over a span of five seasons before entering the NFL.
The Houston Texans selected Ervin in the fourth round with the 119th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. As a result, San Jose State searched for a running back who would produce similar statistics that Ervin managed.
Deontae Cooper was San Jose State’s number one running back last year.
He’s also an accomplished man with two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from the University of Washington. He played the 2016 season with the Spartans, finishing with 486 carries on a team-leading 112 carries and 10 receptions for 108 yards.
More recently, Alonzo Carter joined the San Jose State football coaching staff as a running backs coach. Carter was one of the six assistant coaches that were hired by new head coach Brent Brennan.
On a lighter note, Carter was once a backup dancer for rapper MC Hammer and has toured the world. Both men grew up in Oakland, California. Coaching was just a natural fit for Carter after his dancing days were over.
San Jose State currently has six running backs — Brandon Monroe, Sage Ritchie, Malik Roberson, Francoise Sims II, Jamar Williams and Zamore Zigler — on its 2017 roster. They also bring in two runners with their most recent recruiting class, Jerrell Alberty and three-star athlete Tyler Nevens. The skill position players should take some pressure off the new quarterback.
Roberson and Zigler are two running backs who have potential. They rushed for a combined total of 931 yards last season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The question is if either one could become the Spartans’ lead runner or not. After all, neither one of them were built for short-yardage situations. Perhaps Williams, at 6’2″ and 225 pounds, can fill that role instead.
Until there’s an official announcement from Brennan, all we can do is speculate about San Jose’s running back position.