In this installment of the state's best position groups by the Dallas Morning News bloggers, they rank the running backs. We will track these rankings and give you our thoughts on Tech's ranking in each group. We might throw in a few other thoughts that are non-Tech related.
Here are their rankings:
3) TEXAS TECH
6) Texas A&M
8) Texas State
10) North Texas
Here's what DMN blogger Tommy Magelssen had to say about Tech's RB position:
The Red Raiders return their three most productive running backs from the 2014 season, including senior DeAndre Washington, who was Texas Tech's first 1,000 yard rusher since 1999. The Red Raiders have a firm dynamic in the backfield, and the only real question is to how best distribute the carries. Washington is the clear No. 1, but speedster Justin Stockton (who averaged 8.3 yards per carry last year) is a home-run threat who begs attention and touches. Joining them will be veteran Quinton White, redshirt freshman Demarcus Felton and touted recruit Corey Dauphine. This is one of the deepest units in the state.
The Red Raiders are #3 on the list which is pretty close to right. They shouldn't be any lower, but I think they could be #1 in the state by the time the season ends if Kingsbury will give them the rock more often this season. I am not sure there will be a better second option at running back in the state than Justin Stockton. Last year he was still adjusting to the game and you could tell in the spring game just what a difference an offseason had made. He has added muscle and the ability to hit the hole instead of bouncing everything outside. With the added muscle, I really didn't notice a loss of quickness with Stockton. In fact, he seemed quicker which I think that was due to his decisiveness in hitting the hole instead of bouncing everything. I really hope we increase Washington and Stockton's workload in 2015. We average 76 plays per game last season. I would like to see 30 to 35 touches go to these two guys. Quinton White and Demarcus Felton are nice pieces to have. I hope they get 3 to 6 touches each per game via the rush or pass. That would put us around 40 rushes per game, which I feel is a good split. Looking at successful spread offenses around the country, very few of them are more reliant on the pass than the run.
1) Baylor is number one on the list. No surprise there. Shock Linwood is a really solid back. A large part of their success is their offensive system. Baylor was #9 in the nation in rush attempts per game last season with 41 attempts per game. Compare that to Tech, which was #125 last season with 29 attempts per game. Again, I hope we increase our attempts and get closer to Baylor's number of attempts.
2) Aaron Green is really good for TCU. Their depth is a question mark. The talent is there behind Green but it is somewhat unproven at this point. Their offensive line is good which should help any running back they decide to hand off to.
3) Do not be fooled by UTEP's #7 ranking. Their starting running back Aaron Jones is a very good back as we found out last season. Depth will be the issue for them. The Red Raiders are almost certain to see a heavy dose of Jones again when the Miners come to town in September.
4) In his final season with the Longhorns, Johnathan Gray will finally get his chance to shine as the feature back. He was supposed to be the best back to come out of the Texas high school ranks in several years after he broke quite a few state rushing records. Whether due to injury or splitting time, he hasn't lived up to the hype yet.
The next DMN position group ranking will be wide receivers released on Friday. I am very interested to see where Tech ranks on that list. I am going to guess #6.