Thursday, August 18, 2011

Does Oregon need a "thunder back?"

It's funny. People talk about getting Tra Carson into the lineup as the power back. Carson has a great future at 6-0 227 lbs., with a powerful lower body, thick legs to drive through and carry tacklers for tough yards. But even LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner redshirted, and a year of development may help The Baby Rhino to achieve his full potential. The true freshman broke LMJ's school record at Liberty-Eylau high with 54 touchdowns for his career, falling just 35 yards short of LMJ's rushing record, finishing with 4,185 yards.

He's shown some power in fall workouts, and the temptation is great to use him as a change of pace, a strategy running backs coach Gary Campbell likes a lot, the "Thunder and Lightning" combination he had with Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount in '08, or Johnson and Jonathan Stewart in '07. But how many carries and how much value can Carson add behind James, Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Seastrunk in 2011? Would it be worth sacrificing a year of his eligibility for a very limited role?

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