“A man without a job is a dead man.”
K.A. Kost wrote a book on this entire subject and though I do not believe this will send anyone to the morgue, I just don’t want to see someone as talented as Justin Stockton end up as a dead man on the roster. So, where does he fit?
Primary Running Back
The starting running back position is still up for grabs and we probably won’t know who the starter is until September 2 (or whenever we can decide to play Eastern Washington). Da’Leon Ward is the likely choice, but Stockton’s name has been thrown around, as well. Stockton is the veteran of the group and SHOULD be the starter by now but he’s never gone out and just taken the job. Last season, Stockton was announced as the starter to begin the year and found his snaps diminish as the season went on. Stockton just isn’t the type of back to run between the tackles. He’s always been a speed-back, dating back to his freshman year, and this proved to be even more evident last year when he only averaged 2.9 yards per carry as an in between runner.
3rd Down Back
What if the staff only put Stockton in on third down situations? As a third down back, RBs usually are used as receivers out of the backfield more often and to block on third and long situations. Stockton saw this a lot more in his sophomore campaign as he set career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs. Although his size makes it difficult for him to block at times, he did find success in this capacity.
This is where he thrived his freshman year. This is where he lined up as a singleback in the backfield and was handed the ball in open space. He was able to be a change of pace back as opposed to Deandre Washington’s between the tackles style. His speed was a valuable trait and a great boost to the offense. However as his career has continued, opposing teams seemed to have made him a target and put speedy defenders on him to neutralize him.
Stockton has not been put in this position but with his speed and experience in the short passing game, he could be used in this space. Stockton has been known as a true mismatch and putting him beside Batson could be a nightmare for defenses. Stockton is inexperienced in this role and would have to adjust. Tech also is not in need for another WR as we have an abundance of riches at that position.
Stockton, otherwise known as Flash, is too special of a talent to keep on the bench, however with Da’Leon Ward and Demarcus Felton getting the majority of the reps, it will be easy for Stockton to get lost in the shuffle. All Red Raider fans are hoping he returns back o his 2016 form where he scored 11 touchdowns on the season. Kingsbury will have his hands full trying to put Stockton in the best position to succeed. With the help of Stockton, the run game will need more than a flash of brilliance to improve from last season.