The RB position is wide open this Spring. DeShawn Wynn has graduated. Mon Williams has torn his ACL. Markus Manson is trying his luck on the defensive side of the ball in 2007.
So who will carry the load next season? Well we all know from watching Urban Meyer's offense that several different guys will be looked at to produce some yards and score some touchdowns for the Gators.
One option next season will be sophomore Brandon James, who may be responsible for more than just punt returns next season, according to Gator Country's Franz Beard.
In Florida's spread option offense, size isn't such a factor when it comes to running the ball. The offensive scheme relies on zone blocking which allows a back like James to pretty much hide on the hip of a 300-pound lineman like Jim Tartt then break one way or the other when he sees an opening.
Another guy that could show us something at running back next season will be former Hillsborough HS quarterback Jarred Fayson, who proved to us he can be a playmaker early in his career -- especially as he took snaps at quarterbacks in the 62-0 blowout of Western Carolina in '06.
"He's established himself as one of our top four or five guys," said Meyer. "We're working with him handing him the ball too because he's a talented runner."
Color me excited about the prospects of having these two speedy athletes touching the ball out of the backfield next season. We have witnessed first hand the big plays that James and Fayson can produce when they have the ball -- combine that with the wide open spread option and we could see some explosive production from this offense.
Just think of the playmakers the Gators have on offense for 2007: James, Fayson, Bubba Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow, Deonte Thompson, Cornelius Ingram, Chris Rainey (who could be waist deep in this position battle come fall), Cameron Newton (if he gets the chance), Joe Haden (once again, if he gets the chance) and so on. I don't think we need to be worrying about that group one bit, especially seeing that we have a majority of the offensive line back.
The defense, on the other hand...