Thursday, July 10, 2014

Position Profile: FB/HB/RB

Wofford's all-time rushing leader, Eric Breitenstein.
Photo courtesy Wofford College Athletics
It's no secret that the rush is arguably the most important offensive component of the Terriers. I mean, from 1997-2012, Wofford has placed in the top seven Division I rushing schools, and they captured the top spot in 2011 and 2012, which is (coincidentally or not?) also when Eric Breitenstein was a Terrier.

Undoubtedly the most impressive fullback in recent memory, and arguably the best in school history, Breitenstein ran for 5,730 career yards, including a blazing 2,035 during his senior year.

He also broke the SoCon record for rushing yards in a game: 321 yards on the ground in our 2012 win over Elon.

But Breitenstein wasn't the only top rushing power in the past few years. While his career mark of 2,647 falls short of the huge total put up by Breitenstein, you have to remember that, firstly, at the time that he was putting up numbers like 967 (2011) and 473 (2012), the McDonough, Ga., native was competing for touches with "E.B.", as he was known. Well, when you're putting up that kind of yardage, it only makes sense that you're rushing every other play (or every play, as it might seem).

Secondly, Johnson also dealt with some injuries that barred him playing at full level. But enough about the past.

This season, we've got some fresh faces at fullback, highlighted by Andre Stoddard (not playing this season) and Chase Nelson. Returning from last year's roster are veteran Brody Hingst, who missed all but two games last season due to injury, and redshirt freshman Luke Childress.

Overall, this may be a young bunch, but the newcomers look to be promising, and can be a strong addition to this roster.

NOTE: Andre Stoddard will not be playing this season due to issues related to NCAA high school class approval.

Four returning juniors make up the halfback corps. Will Gay was second only to Donovan Johnson in rushing last season, gaining 498 yards in 70 attempts, averaging 6.9 yards a carry. Gay also caught for 205 yards. Ray Smith put up 256 rushing yards in 41 attempts, with an average of 5.9 yards a carry. Cam Flowers rushed for 111 yards in 20 attempts, putting up an average of 5.4 a carry. Additionally, Flowers caught one pass for six yards. Octavious Harden rounds out the group with 27 rushing attempts for 174 yards (6.3 per carry), and one reception, good for nine yards.

This is a solid group. They've proven themselves these last few years, and they can easily put up some impressive yardage, barring any injuries.

Three redshirt freshmen, Chris Martin, Joseph Hubbard, and Hunter Windham (who may be played as a wide receiver), join sophomore Lorenzo Long to make up the running back group. Long rushed for 158 yards in 31 attempts (5.0 per carry) last season.

Although this will be another young group, we have ample rushing power on our roster. There looks to be no reason that rushing diminishes as a prime staple of Wofford football anytime soon.

[Some statistical data courtesy]

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