Rating the RBs Class

Whether or not this was a major area of need or not is up for debate. Obviously, we had a poor rushing offense, one of the worst in the country in fact. When there was room to run, our backs didn't always hit the holes like they could have. Mike Davis, particularly, showed a proclivity to run the wrong way. However, we also had a one of the worst offensive lines in the country, and in our running backs' defense, those holes were few and far between, as we typically had a couple of opposing defensive linemen in the backfield before the play even had time to develop. Moreover, our level of talent in the backfield should have produced more than it did. Davis was a senior that had produced in earlier years, and Brian Maddox and Eric Baker were underclassmen that had shown potential. We did and still do have experienced depth in the backfield, as well as younger players like Kenny Miles that the coaches have spoken highly of.

That said, considering that Davis has graduated and that, whatever the reason, we didn't run as well as we would have liked to, it was important for us to bring in some new blood in this class. We did that, signing two four-star RBs in Ben Axon and Jarvis Giles. Both were coups: we lured Axon away from Clemson during the Tommy Bowden mid-season drama, and we won a recruiting war against Tennessee and Nebraska for Giles. One of the things I like most about these pickups is that Axon and Giles are different types of runners: Axon gives us a bigger, more bruising type of back, while Giles is more of a breakaway-type guy. If the other pieces fall into place, these two could eventually become a better version of the Davis-Cory Boyd duo that was so effective late in 2006.

I'm giving this portion of our class an A. I really have nothing to complain about. These guys fill our needs and, along with Maddox, Baker, and Miles, will fill out a deep, talented RB core that will perhaps be the best we've ever had. If the rest of the offense shapes up, we've got the weapons in the backfield to move the ball efficiently. Spurrier has promised us a better running game next year, and there's reason to believe he can back that up.

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