Texas A&M football hasn’t been known for their running back depth under Kevin Sumlin. That might be changing in year six of his tenure with the Aggies.
Tra Carson carried the Aggie backfield for a long while in the beginning of Sumlin’s tenure as the Texas A&M football head coach. He had some help along the way, but the bruiser was the Aggie bell cow for the majority of his time in College Station. When he moved on in 2015 the Aggies needed to find an answer.
Rather than rely on one guy, Sumlin turned to the tandem of Oklahoma transfer Keith Ford and true freshman Trayveon Williams. Ford was tough, the kind of guy built for the SEC. He was serviceable, but Williams was incredible. Last season he became the first true freshman in Texas A&M history to rush for 1,000 yards.
Now the job belongs to Williams, but he’s not going to get 40 touches a game. He doesn’t need to. Williams will be at his best when he’s fresh, not after a full game of being bumped around. Here’s how the Texas A&M football depth chart shakes out at running back this year.
A shifty, explosive runner, Trayveon Williams would have been in the Heisman consideration if he hadn’t let the ball get knocked out of his hands on the goal line against Tennessee. He finished with 217 yards and one touchdown that day. After that the Aggies became less relevant as they began their November swoon. He’s a matchup problem every time he steps onto the field and he’s primed for another great season in 2017.
Keith Ford began 2016 as the lead back but was quickly forced into a timeshare with Williams. While he’s clearly the number two entering this coming season, he’s not going to see a drastic reduction in his touches. With youth at the receiver position and a new quarterback it’s more likely that both he and Williams see more touches in 2017.
In limited work Kendall Bussey lead the team in yards per carry last season. He saw a lot of garbage time, but didn’t waste his opportunity to make a statement. He’s a quality runner that knows how to punch right through the middle of the defense without making a fuss.
Kwame Etwi saw carries in three games in 2016. He’s a depth guy that shouldn’t see too much of the field barring injuries. That said, he’s the kind of guy that every SEC program needs. He shows up to work and is ready to run when his name is called.
The rest of the running backs on the roster are all freshman: Jacob Kibodi, John Clark and AJ Sanders. It’s unlikely that any of them see any playing time at all in 2017, but if one of them does it will probably be Kibodi, a three star recruit from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.