Big Ten Running Backs 2023: The Ford Fiestas (7. Minnesota Golden Gophers)

BleedGopher

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per Off Tackle Empire:

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers​

The Pair: Sean Tyler and Zach Evans

The Spare: Bryce Williams, Darius Taylor, Marquese Williams

A similar situation to Illinois. Minnesota saw Mo Ibrahim lead the conference in rushing and break program records. He watched the draft go by without getting called, and ended up signing with the Lions. Backup Trey Potts was also not drafted, but decided to follow Kirk Ciarocca to Penn State.

So it’s a pretty new room for the Gophs. Western Michigan transfer Sean Tyler looks to be the starter. He ran for over a thousand yards last season and gives them a bit more of a home run presence, even if it will be hard to replicate the constant ram of Ibrahim. A couple other options are Zach Evans and four star frosh Darius Taylor. Feels like a game of Yahtzee on the backfield, but we are giving a lot of weight to the fact that Minny was second in the league in rushing last year. They will row the boat in some fashion. But let’s hear from an expert:

WhiteSpeedReceiver: I feel really good about the RBs, but there isn’t a lot of experience there at all. Mo is gone, Trey Potts hit the portal to get paid at PSU, and the 2 freshmen that got a bunch of yards when Mo went down in 2021 already got paid at other schools.

Bryce Williams, who scored 2 TD against Wisconsin in 2018, is the leading returning rusher in games featuring at least one B1G team. Sean Taylor transfers in from WMU and has been productive, but he’s only got 154 in 3 games against the conference. Freshmen Darius Taylor and RS FR Zach Evans are both really exciting, but they have a total of 6 carries in colleges (including one TD, but it was only against Northwestern.) That’s a lot of pressure on guys who haven’t done much of anything at this level.


Go Gophers!!
 






btowngopher

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Potts left to get paid at PSU and Thomas left to get paid at Kansas??
 








GopherTheJugular

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Well yeah, he left to get paid. But I don’t think that’s why the other two left.
Agreed. Especially Potts. All you have to do is look at the PSU RB room and realize no one is paying for Potts to come there.

Nice job by the "expert" to just assume everyone who left got NIL.
 

upnorthkid

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Gotta love off-season drivel. Pump out that content!
 



Gophergrandpa

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We have two very experienced RBs (both have played in a lot of games), and at least two younger but potentially explosive RBs. Jordan Nubin is also an interesting wild card. I think that puts us in really good stead, especially if our OL doesn't take too big a step backwards. No "bell cow" RB as such, but real ability to use our RBs to maximum effect situationally, increasing our offense's play-calling diversity. Barring major injuries, I think we'll be very pleased with this year's set of RBs.
 



RememberMurray

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We have two very experienced RBs (both have played in a lot of games), and at least two younger but potentially explosive RBs. Jordan Nubin is also an interesting wild card. I think that puts us in really good stead, especially if our OL doesn't take too big a step backwards. No "bell cow" RB as such, but real ability to use our RBs to maximum effect situationally, increasing our offense's play-calling diversity. Barring major injuries, I think we'll be very pleased with this year's set of RBs.

I agree. Great take, GG. I think you're spot on, and I like your insight on Nubin, especially. Right now he's under the radar, but I suspect we may have something there.

Regarding the bolded part: You're right, there will probably not be a 'bell cow' RB in 2023. But then again, there were a few people here always who seemed worried that the Gophers we 'over-using' Ibrahim, so that should make those folks happy.

The Gophers on offense will definitely have a new look and feel... here's hoping that turns out to be a good thing, and that the 2023 attack actually out-produces the previous model, which was often criticized for being too conservative.
 




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