Texas A&M football lost a hell of a running back who will play in the NFL, but they could be even better with a 1-2 punch in 2019.
Jimbo Fisher did not shy away from completely revamping the Texas A&M football offense when he took over as head coach. This isn’t at all surprising. He is an offensive-minded head coach, so he’s running his offense.
It gave the Aggies a learning curve in their offseason last year. They had to pivot from Kevin Sumlin’s air raid attack to Fisher’s pro style offense with spread concepts. One thing anyone with eyes could see is the Aggies were going to run the dang ball. That’s exactly what they did.
Travyeon Williams set the single season rushing record with 1,760 yards on 271 carries. Kellen Mond took some of the load off him with RPO and read option and had 149 carries. Behind those two were Jashaun Corbin with 61 carries and Kwame Etwi with 20. It was very much the Williams show in the running attack, and for good reason.
There was almost no experience in the back field behind Trayveon. Williams split time with Keith Ford in his first two seasons. With Ford gone there weren’t any backs on the roster with as much experience or potential as Williams. Things are different now.
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Fisher has Corbin, loaded with both experience and potential as a former 4-star recruit, and now has Vernon Jackson and Cordarrian Richardson backing up Corbin, each of whom were 4-star recruits and are a chance of pace power back that could compliment Corbin’s speed. Jackson and Richardson are also not true freshman as Corbin was last year.
12th Man productions recently caught up with Corbin during spring practices and was specifically asked about Richardson and what he can bring to the group. Corbin said “he’s a bigger back, but he’s definitely special. He is picking up the offense very face, [and] I think he’s a good chance of pace guy.”
Fisher could potentially have two special players handle the running back duties for him this season, whether it be Jackson or Richardson who backs up Corbin.
It wouldn’t be out of the norm for Fisher to feature all three. He used Chris Thompson, Ty Jones and Jermaine Thomas pretty equally in 2010, Thompson, Thomas and Devonta Freeman in 2011, Freeman, Thompson and James Wilder Jr. in 2012, and Freeman, Wilder and Karlos Williams in 2013.
You never like to see a player go down with an injury, but Corbin’s tweaked hamstring gave Jackson and Richardson more opportunities with the first team offense which could benefit them for this season.
While it’s great when a team can feature a special talent at running back like the Aggies did with Williams, it’s better to be able to throw multiple special players at the opposing defense. Fisher will be able to do this in 2019.