FSU Football: Evaluating running back depth heading into spring

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – OCTOBER 21: Running back Cam Akers #3 of the Florida State Seminoles looks to run the ball by safety Dee Smith #11 of the Louisville Cardinals at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

With the departure of FSU football’s Jacques Patrick, plus a few injuries and transfers, what will the running back depth look like in the spring?

FSU football has a long history of elite running backs – from Sammie Smith to Warrick Dunn to Dalvin Cook, there is a lengthy lineage of great tailbacks to grace Bobby Bowden Field. In recent years, the ‘Noles have been stacking blue-chip players at running back, and a year ago, it was considered the deepest position group in the ACC.

However, a historically bad 2018 left the position in a much more precarious spot. Running behind the statistically-worst offensive line in the Power Five, Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick were both held to career-lows in yards and touchdowns. Backup Amir Rasul didn’t see much action, freshman Anthony Grant was mostly used on special teams, and former five-star Khalan Laborn was lost to injury after one game.

Now going into the 2019 season, head coach Willie Taggart faces not only questions of depth at QB and offensive line but has depth issues at running back as well. Rasul, now a senior, has entered his name into the transfer pool, according to 247Sports. This does not necessarily mean Rasul will transfer, but it does indicate that he could be leaving Tallahassee.

While Rasul was never a featured member of the Seminole backfield, he was a reliable backup and prized recruit back in 2016.  Paired with the departure of Jacques Patrick, the Seminoles have lost two of their five scholarship running backs on the roster headed into the spring.

Florida State’s last two recruiting classes have focused heavily on the offensive line, with only one running back signed since 2017. The loss of two scholarship players severely hurts the FSU’s depth at running back, and going into spring practice, the Seminoles will only have two healthy scholarship backs. So, what does the running back position look like heading into the spring?

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