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Boise State Position Preview: Running Back

After a subpar rushing attack last season, the Broncos will look to return to form in 2022.

NCAA Football: Boise State at San Diego State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our position preview series this week, we will place our focus on the running backs. The ground and pound style that Boise State prefers to play was not feasible last year with lingering injuries to George Holani and the offensive line lacking in production. Andy Avalos didn’t emphasize recruiting the skill positions as much this cycle, but he did land versatile runner Ashton Jeanty out of Texas.

Projected Starter

George Holani (Redshirt Junior)

After breaking onto the scene as a freshman and winning the Mountain West Freshman of the Year award, nagging injuries have prevented him from having a second 1,000 yard season. His touchdown production was minimal last year, only hitting paid dirt once. We know that his style is electric and can transform the Bronco offense into a well-oiled machine if he is at 100 percent. The addition of four offensive lineman this class and incoming Washington State transfer Cade Beresford will provide the Broncos more depth and skill in the trenches.

2nd String

Ashton Jeanty (Freshman)

247 Sports rated Jeanty as a four star and it shows when you look at the tape. His senior season was the first time he was used a primary running back, but he adjusted quickly. He ran for 1,843 yards and scored 31 touchdowns on the ground. Jeanty is a threat in the passing game as well, reeling in over 800 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. As an early enrollee, he is already on campus and will take meaningful snaps this season. Bronco fans are looking at what a future might look like beyond Holani, and Ashton Jeanty may very well be his successor.

3rd String

Tyler Crowe (Redshirt Junior)

The local product out of Nampa has been involved more and more as his career progresses. After only getting five touches in his first two years, he exceeded that last year, going for 20 carries and scoring his first career touchdown as a Bronco. With Cyrus Habibi-Likio and Andrew Van Buren leaving the program, Crowe will most likely take the role of the third down back, muscling his way for extra yards. Of course, we will have to wait until spring practices ramp up to know if the mullet is here to stay.

Other Backups

Taequan Tyler (Redshirt Junior)

Tyler saw the field for the first time last year, carrying the ball 11 times in three total appearances. He can break a run when fresh legs are needed, having a career long 21 yard run on his resume.

Danny Smith (Redshirt Senior)

Staying with a program for your entire career as a backup is something rarely seen in today’s game. Smith has done so and will be useful as a veteran voice in the locker room for someone like Jeanty.

Ethan Mikita (Freshman)

Boise State showed that in-state talent will be valued under the leadership of Andy Avalos. Mikita is a walk-on from Eagle High School in the Boise area. He measures at 5’9” and just a hair under 200 pounds. It is of note that he is coming off of a torn ACL that occurred this past football season.

Taylor Marcum (Freshman)

Marcum hails from Timberline High School in Boise and is also coming in as a walk-on. He comes in at 6’1” and at 185 pounds.

How do you think the run game for Boise State will perform this season? Let us know in the comments down below.