2020 Spring Preview: With a Legend Gone, And A New System, The Running Backs

A.J. Black

With AJ Dillon off to the NFL after his junior season, and head coach Steve Addazio gone, the running back position's role could drastically change in 2020. David Bailey returns, and looks to be the feature back in Jeff Hafley's system. But what about the depth behind him? Who could we see step up in 2020, let's take a look at the running backs

Previous Previews: Quarterbacks

Returning Players: David Bailey (Jr.), Travis Levy (Sr.), Patrick Garwo (R-Fr.), Javian Dayne (R-So.), Peter Stehr (R-So.)

Newcomers: Andre Hines (Fr.)

Departures: AJ Dillon to the NFL

Expectations: Boston College was a rush first team during the Steve Addazio era, which should change under new head coach Jeff Hafley.  On top of the change in philosophy, Boston College has lost all-time great back AJ Dillon to the NFL Draft. However, David Bailey should be able to step in and do what the offensive scheme calls for. The depth behind him includes Travis Levy who can could be more of a weapon moving forward along with a bevy of names with potential but not a lot of on field results yet. 

Key Position Battle: Backup halfback position. All signs would point to Patrick Garwo being the feature back behind Bailey. But depending on the system, Travis Levy could find the field more often, as he has shown that he can carry the ball and has good hands for a back. If BC is serious about throwing it, having a back who can catch it will be vital. This is not to say that Garwo can't do that too, but Levy is a more experienced option. 

Areas to Improve: This position group played extremely well in 2019, putting together a Top 10 rushing attack in most metrics. They were able to run effectively even with stacked boxes against them, fumbling wasn't a problem and they were physical. If you want to nitpick and find one aspect to improve it would be to continue to become more of a factor in the pass game. The backs caught 28 passes last season, which is a number they could certainly look to improve. 

Impact Player: David Bailey. A big physical back who broke out in 2019 with seven rushing touchdowns. But what will he do when he is the feature back in 2020, and how will his body hold up to the wear and tear?

Player To Step Up: Travis Levy. Of any player with untapped potential that was never properly utilized it has to be Levy. A quick back that can still go for 10-15 carries, and is a threat in the passing game. If properly utilized he can be a gadget player, one that can line up as a back, moved out to WR, or run misdirection. He is someone to watch under the new Jeff Hafley offense. 

Comments (3)
AndrewBombara
AndrewBombara

Travis Levy being able to play both RB/HB/WR makes him more so an offensive gadget style player like the NE Patriots RB James White, who is also an pass catching RB that can also run the ball when needed, he can also flex out into slot WR role, he can flex out into outside/wide WR Role, he can line up off set I, he can run misdirection, he can line up in I formation behind the QB, he can also motion pre snap, so I am hoping that Travis Levy could become BC's version of the NE Patriots player James White and be that offensive gadget style RB/HB/WR player who can see multiple looks in multiple different alignments in Frank Cignetti Jr Offense

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Gasson305
Gasson305

We know David Bailey is a big physical running back. Will he be used like Dillon remains to be seen. If you want to speculate on how Bailey might be utilized under HC Jeff Hafley, my guess is it would be wise to think more like how Ezekiel Elliott and Carlos Hyde werte used at TOSU.

claver2010
claver2010

Hopefully the departure of daz ends the time will bring the end to running our back 30 times into a stacked box. There's no reason for any of these guys to get much more than 20 carries in any game


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