New Maryland Terrapins running backs coach Terry Richardson will have two less bodies to cycle in his rotation for the 2015-16 football season now that Jacquille Veii and Albert Reid are transferring. Despite those losses, the Maryland Terrapins should be okay at the position.
The Terps have two solid running backs in Wes Brown and Brandon Ross, both of whom are veterans. Wes Brown and Brandon Ross combined for 189 carries, 773 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in the 2014-15 season. They can and need to build on those numbers in 2015.
Here's my take on what the depth chart will look like at this position for the Terrapins when the season starts:
1. Wes Brown: He'll get the starting job and carry the load for the team. He has proven he can be the power back that the Terps need between the tackles and on the goal line. He's got speed to go along with size which could allow him to get more in-game reps in pivotal situations.
2. Brandon Ross: Ross is a guy who the Terrapins can rely on to get the extra yards they need and judging by his numbers last season (86 carries, 417 yards and four touchdowns), he clearly has the ability to run the football and did it pretty well, averaging 4.8 yards a carry.
3. Ty Johnson: Johnson will get to show Maryland fans what he is made of this season. How much playing time he will get is going to depend upon his performance in practice and on game day. Judging by his film, three words come to mind: speed, agility and elusiveness. This kid is fast. He's the type of player that with the ball in his hands, he can take it to the house on any given play. He reminds me of Ameer Abdullah. This kid has tremendous upside so there's no doubt he will be able to turn the heads of the coaching staff for the Terps.
4. Joe Riddle: He and Johnson will be in a real competition for the third running back spot on the depth chart, but I think Johnson has the edge. I do believe there can be a role for Riddle on special teams or as wide receiver in some packages because of his 6'1 210 lbs. frame.
With Jacquille Veii gone, the Terps will miss a player who was an exceptional pass catcher out of the backfield. If one of these four backs can step up to fill that role, Maryland will be just fine at running back.