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Who's Your Starter? Runningback

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Part one of our little series seems to have been a success, with Austen Arnaud claiming the job with 90% of the reader vote. If it was up to me, Arnaud would also be my first choice, but I fully expect to see a two quarterback system with Phillip Bates getting snaps, and I'm okay with that. I expect Tiller to redshirt.

But, anyways, our next position on the offensive side of the ball is that of runningback. With a proud tradition in the early part of the McCarney regime of running the football, and with ever-declining rushing numbers towards the end of his tenure, it is important that we rebuild the ranks. With a loaded stable of choices, 2008 could be the year where the running game is truly reestablished.

2007 Stats
Robinson: 118 att, 465 yds, 3.9 avg, 6 TD, 37 long; 23 catches, 167 yards, 7.3 avg, 35 long
Bass: 123 att, 462 yds, 3.8 avg, 4 TD, 22 long; 9 catches, 48 yards, 5.3 avg, 11 long
Scales: 99 att, 333 yds, 3.4 avg, 3 TD, 24 long; 10 catches, 28 yards, 2.8 avg, 8 long
Schwartz (high school): 1300 yds, 23 TD

Alexander Robinson was the starter for the opener last year against Kent State - a curious call at the time - and the staff played musical runningbacks until seemingly settling on Robinson in the second half of the season. Robinson showed the best burst out of all of the runningbacks last year, especially with his 37 yard touchdown jaunt in a tight formation against a solid Mizzou defense.

JJ Bass came in last year as the top recruit out of a JUCO in California. It took him a while to get going, but was seemingly hurt most of last year. Injuries also plagued Scales, who has shown he can carry the load, but lacks that big play ability that is seemingly evident in Robinson.

Jeremiah Schwartz comes in as the #3 fullback in the nation (according to Scout), but he may see time at runningback. A Jerome Bettis lookalike in recruiting videos, Schwartz is a big, pounding back who could be very useful in goalline situations - if the staff doesn't feel they can redshirt him.

Robinson would seem like the logical choice, but he also clearly didn't have it at times last year. Bass and Scales are talented, and all three are proven, to some extent, and are capable of carrying the load. Who's your choice?