Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Notre Dame Running Back Analysis For The 2013 Season

Notre Dame Football RB's 2013

Players that return: George Atkinson III, Cam McDaniel, Amir Carlisle, Will Mahone

Players that leave: Theo Riddick, Cierre Wood

New Additions: Greg Bryant, Tarean Folston

Overview: Notre Dame loses a good amount of its production at running back with Theo Riddick graduating and Cierre Wood declaring for the NFL draft. Riddick was just as important with catching the ball as he was running the ball and Wood finished pretty high on the all-time rushing list at Notre Dame. In the 2012 season, Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood combined for 304 carries, 1,659 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns. Riddick also was 4th on the team in receiving with 36 receptions for 370 yards and 2 touchdowns. George Atkinson and Cam McDaniel are the only returning Notre Dame running backs that had any playing time in 2012 as Amir Carlisle redshirted due to injury and Will Mahone redshirted. Even with the new additions of Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston, expect both to redshirt in 2013 to help preserve eligibility for the future.

George Atkinson III 2012 Statistics:

Rushing: 51 attempts, 361 rushing yards, 7.08 yards per rush, 5 rushing touchdowns, 30.08 rushing yards per game.

Receiving: 2 receptions, 4 yards, 2 yards per reception, 0 receiving touchdowns, 0.3 receiving yards per game.

George Atkinson III 2011 Statistics:

Rushing: 9 attempts, 27 yards, 3 yards per rush, 2 rushing touchdowns, 2.08 rushing yards per game.

Receiving: 1 reception, 10 yards, 10 yards per reception, 0.8 receiving yards per game.

Career Single Game Highs: 10 attempts (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 123 rushing yards (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 12.3 yards per rush (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 2 rushing touchdowns (vs. Navy, 2012), 1 reception (at Purdue, 2011, vs Stanford, 2012, and vs. BYU, 2012), 10 yards (at Purdue, 2011)

Additional Information: George Atkinson III was one of 2 Notre Dame running backs to have 2 rushing touchdowns of 50 or more yards (the other was Cierre Wood, who had 2 that were 60+ yard touchdowns). The amount of playing time Atkinson had on offense varied throughout the 2012 season. In the first game of the season, he had 9 carries for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns, while in the next game he had only 1 carry for 0 yards. He missed the Oklahoma game due to illness. Heading into the spring, Atkinson will likely be the de facto starter at running back due to the most experience out of everyone returning.

Cam McDaniel 2012 Statistics:

Rushing: 23 attempts, 125 rushing yards, 5.43 yards per rush, 1 rushing touchdown, 10.42 rushing yards per game.

Receiving: 2 receptions, 41 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns, 3.4 receiving yards per game.

Cam McDaniel 2011 Statistics:

Rushing: 3 attempts, 9 rushing yards, 3 yards per rush, 0 rushing touchdowns, 1 yard per game.

Receiving: N/A

Career Single Game Highs: 11 attempts (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 59 rushing yards (vs. Navy, 2012), 6.56 yards per rush (vs. Navy, 2012), 1 rushing touchdown (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 1 reception (vs. Navy, 2012 and Miami FL, 2012), 21 receiving yards (vs. Miami FL, 2012), 21 yards per reception (vs. Miami FL, 2012)

Additional Information: Cam McDaniel played sparingly during his second season with the Irish with only 3 games in 2012 where he had carries, and all of it had been when the outcome had been decided. McDaniel will likely see more carries in the 2013 season and could have a solid impact as well. While George Atkinson III is most likely the starter going into the spring due to experience, it might be McDaniel who is the 2nd string running back due to experience, but expect there to be an open competition to replace Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick.

Information on remaining running backs: Amir Carlisle redshirted after transferring from USC due to injury and Will Mahone redshirted during his freshman season. Both are capable of challenging for a starting role. Mahone might be the power back that the Irish are looking for. While Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston might redshirt in 2013, they could also potentially see playing time in 2013, but it just depends overall.

Note: A player who is all caps notes a returning starter.

Projected Running Back Depth Chart:

George Atkinson III Jr.
Amir Carlisle So.
or Will Mahone rFr.
or Cam McDaniel Jr.
Greg Bryant Fr.
Tarean Folston Fr.

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