Photo by Brad Smith
Oregon Football

Spring Review: Running Backs

April 24, 2019

The Ducks are at least, at least a three-headed monster at running back. The Spring game showcased the depth at running back with a steady dose of CJ Verdell, Travis Dye and Cyrus Habibi-Likio. 

Although he has said to have had a strong Spring, Darrian Felix was not able to go in the Spring game due to an illness. He’s been one of the bright spots this Spring and will be a factor this Fall in the rush-heavy offense of Oregon.

Media made a couple points to single out Verdell and his ‘lack of carries’ but Cristobal was quick to dispell any notion. One would assume, as Cristobal mentioned, a limited load for Verdell coming off a big Fall where he carried the ball a lot. That seemed to pay dividends for him in the Spring game. I thought Verdell looked fresh and strong and ready to roll this season. I imagine his carries will be limited, to a degree, this Fall as well. 

Travis Dye ran hard and looks like he’s ready to take as many carries as he can get. Everyone mentions his size but nobody runs harder than Dye on the team. He earns the praise of his peers and coaches every chance they get.

I thought Cyrus Habibi-Likio took a major step forward this Spring. Very few people work harder than he does on this team and is a real ‘glue guy’ in the locker room. He looked a step faster and certainly like he’s more than ready to take the next step as more than just a goal-line back. It doesn’t mean he’ll lead the team in carries, but a step forward, is a step forward. 

Again this is not even counting Darrian Felix who sounds like he’s looking to steal some carries of his own.

As we are all well aware, Oregon’s 2019 signees have yet to strap up. That will include what we presume is a ‘power back’ in Jayvaun Wilson along with the dynamic speedster in Sean Dollars. Will Oregon need either this season? Tough to tell but it’s a pretty good problem to have for Jim Mastro and Mario Cristobal. 

Keep in mind both can play four games wihtout using up a redshirt season. Meaning both could see some live game action but be saved to help ‘space out’ the talent. Oregon is log-jammed at running back now, balancing out those numbers will be a key moving forward. 

Between the growth of Felix and Habibi-Likio, this group is in great shape overall. 

Tags: Football, Oregon
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