This most recent NFL draft saw the Arizona Cardinals take running back Eno Benjamin in the 7th round. A name Arizona State fans have been accustomed to hearing the last three seasons. The former workhorse for ASU amassed 3,492 yards from scrimmage with 31 touchdowns the last two seasons. But now ASU is looking for their next workhorse. With a running back group primarily composed of redshirt freshman, transfers, and true freshman - who will step up to take Benjamin's place?
This former 3-star running back has an advantage that no other RB on this list has - experience with ASU coaches. Flowers is the only returning player on this list after being a redshirt freshman in 2019. Flowers was able to see the field last season due to a new rule allowing players to participate in up to 4 games without losing eligibility. He ran for 31 yards on 11 attempts in ASU's Sun Bowl victory over Florida State, the only game he played in. With his huge frame being listed at 5-foot-11 and 220 lbs, according to ASU's official website, Flowers has the tools to be a downhill runner that could ward off the tacklers. After a shoulder injury and academic issues pushed Flowers potential 2018 enrollment to 2019, he looks ready to make up for the lost time. His solid, but improving footwork combined with his violent nature to run head-on at the point of attack could be used as someone's complementary thunder to their lightning.
At 6-foot-2 and 195lbs, White is another power back who is looking to make a name for himself. Starting a little bit behind the proverbial 8-ball compared to the other RB's on this list because of the lack of practice time, White might be the hungriest of them all. As the oldest running back on this list, in terms of class, White will have to prove himself. He doesn't have the acclaim as some of the other players he's going against, but White is not foreign to working for and earning your opportunity. He hopes to be on a similar path as former Sun Devil Brandon Aiyuk. Both were JUCO products out of California before signing with ASU. Now Aiyuk is a San Francisco 49er, and White wants to someday be in the NFL as well. He'll need to showcase his skills that he displayed last season, where he ran for 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games.
An incoming freshman with a bigger frame than Marshawn Lynch, Trayanum could be the power back that makes everyone's jaw drop. Ranked as a consensus 4-star prospect by all major services, Trayanum's talent is not overlooked, and he has the size to match. Listed at 5-foot-11, but a whopping 230 lbs, Trayanum will strike fear in the hearts of his opponents when bursting through the hole. As a junior, he rushed for 1,313 yards and scored 26 touchdowns on just 106 carries. On defense, he finished with 60 tackles, eight sacks, five forced fumbles and ten pass breakups. The dude is an athletic freak. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds at The Opening Finals in July 2019 and has a 35-inch vertical. But an injury-riddled senior year took some shine off Trayanum. He looks to make an immediate impact to show everyone his junior year wasn't a fluke. He's nicknamed 'Chip' for two reasons: he's a blue-chip prospect, and always plays with a chip on his shoulder. Two elements ASU fans hope he displays.
Ranked as the 53rd best prospect in the nation, according to ESPN, Ngata might be the most talented of the bunch. What makes Ngata so intriguing is his Alvin Kamara-like ability as a rusher and pass-catcher. During his three-year varsity career, Ngata had 2,434 rushing yards, 1,237 receiving yards,and 498 kick return yards with 52 total touchdowns. He can be used all over the field in a variety of ways. "Has superb hands out of the backfield and can be used as a vertical threat, and could play in the slot," according to Brandon Huffman 247Sports Listed at only 5-foot-9, 185 pounds Ngata is not an imposing brute, like most of the other RBs he's competing against. But back in March, Ngata said he had put on about 17 or 18 pounds entering camp. If that's true - WATCH OUT.
ASU wants to use two running backs in their games. The front-runners for those spots right now seem to be the two incoming freshmen, Ngata and Trayanum. Reports back in spring practice had Trayanum running mostly with the first team with Ngata mixing in with the second team and some first as well. These two could be college football's version of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Ngata being the more finesse player like Kamara, who could step into the slot for a pass or run it outside for a big gain. Trayanum seems to be the bruiser like Ingram, who is more than willing to run in-between the tackles to impose his physical will. Nothing is guaranteed until we get an official announcement, but it would be surprising not to see these two as the primary ball-handlers on gameday.