Baylor Football 2013 Position Previews: Running Backs

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Unarguably the strength of the Baylor offense at the start of the season, Baylor's two returning starting running backs look primed to carry a huge load going into 2013. Behind them, young backs are hungry.

After looking yesterday at the signal callers lucky enough to learn at the feet of Art Briles, we're focusing today on those backs to whom they might be handing off. Baylor has a host of capable running backs to depend on as Bryce Petty gets his feet wet. Here they are:

Eligibility Remaining
No. Player Year Ht/Wt. Position 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
8 Glasco Martin
SR 6-1/220 Running Back
25 Lache Seastrunk
JR 5-10/210 Running Back
33 Silas Nacita
SO 5-9/180 Running Back
32 Rashodrick Linwood
RS-FR 5-8/200 Running Back
28 Devin Chafin
RS-FR 6-0/215 Running Back
2 Johnny Jefferson
FR 5-9/195 Running Back

Now we're getting into the "meat" of the roster. Baylor has 6 running backs listed, 5 of whom are on scholarship at this point. The first two are starters coming off stellar seasons last year. After Nacita, the next are their backups. For the foreseeable future, Baylor should have capable pairs of RBs, each of whom fill the individualized role our offense has come to need.

Glasco Martin -- SR -- #8 -- 6-1, 220 pounds

Glasco Martin came to Baylor as a 4* athlete (that's recruiting-speak for "we're trying to cover our butts") from Stony Point HS in Round Rock, Texas. During a 2009 season in which he redshirted to preserve eligibility, Martin suffered a late-season knee injury that kept him out for most of the following offseason. That limited his opportunities in 2010, his redshirt freshman year, leading to a widely-reported sense of discontent at Baylor. In 2011, he backed up record-breaking RB Terrance Ganaway, rushing for over 250 yards on 40 carries. Last year, 2012, was his breakout season, and paired with the next player on this list for the second half of the season, Martin enjoyed a spectacular year. His complete career stats are below:

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2010 Baylor Big 12 FR RB 9 21 2.3 1 0 0 0 9 21 2.3 1
*2011 Baylor Big 12 SO RB 40 268 6.7 2 1 1 1.0 0 41 269 6.6 2
*2012 Baylor Big 12 JR RB 179 889 5.0 15 1 2 2.0 0 180 891 5.0 15
Career Baylor 228 1178 5.2 18 2 3 1.5 0 230 1181 5.1 18

Though he will be limited again early this season by a foot injury suffered playing basketball in the summer, expectations are high for Martin going into his senior season. Art Briles has expressed his confidence in Martin, saying he fully expects him to rack up 1,000 yards on the ground, and our own Community Projections echo that confidence, averaging 1006 yards so far on nearly 180 carries.

In some ways, I feel bad for Glasco because he is clearly undervalued with respect to his actual contributions. On almost any other team in the Big 12, Martin might be the #1 back. On ours, because Lache Seastrunk exists and is one of the best backs in the entire country, he's considered a secondary back. My hope is that he overcomes his offseason injury to build on 2012 and establishes his value for all in the NFL to see.

Lache Seastrunk -- JR -- #25 -- 5-10, 210 pounds

The sequence of events that brought Lache to Baylor from his original landing spot in Eugene has been chronicled thoroughly enough that I don't think I need to rehash it here. It's not like I could do a better job than ESPN The Magazine, anyway. From such an inauspicious beginning to his career, plagued as it was by accusations that he was overrated and had been bought, his meteoric rise last year might have been the biggest story in the entire country, had it not been for someone in College Station named Johnny Manziel.

It's clear at this point that Lache enters this, his junior year, with probably the highest expectations of any running back in Baylor history. Some of that was brought on by Lache on the field, where he racked up over 1,000 yards in basically 7 games, and off, when he predicted after last season that he'd win the Heisman this year. I think everyone knows at this point that he's got the talent; whether he can actually make it happen is another story altogether.

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2012 Baylor Big 12 SO RB 131 1012 7.7 7 9 107 11.9 1 140 1119 8.0 8
Career Baylor 131 1012 7.7 7 9 107 11.9 1 140 1119 8.0 8

The ODB Community Projections for Lache are predictably sky-high, averaging nearly 1800 yards rushing and another 300 receiving, putting him in range, if it happened, of the greatest season by a running back in CFB history. LacHeisman2013 wouldn't need that much help if he could pull off those kinds of numbers.

I've long feared that the primary detractor to Lache's chances this season could be a lack of touchdowns, a fear that becomes all the more acute when you think of the impact Bryce Petty might have on the running game in the redzone. This past season, Nick Florence had 10 rushing touchdowns on his own, a number I see Petty as sure to break. The big loser there is probably Seastrunk. I guess he'll just have to score from 70 yards out each time to be sure.

Silas Nacita -- SO -- #33 -- 5-9, 180 pounds

I know that Silas, owner of perhaps my favorite name on the entire roster, is a sophomore walk-on from Bakersfield, California. That is the extent of my knowledge, though apparently he was at Cornell at one point or another. Welcome to the team, Silas!

Rashodrick Linwood -- RS-FR -- #32 -- 5-8, 200 pounds

The first of two members of Baylor's 2012 recruiting class on this list, "Shock" Linwood, who flipped to Baylor after committing initially to TCU, is listed as the primary backup to Seastrunk as the "lightning" in our backup "thunder and lightning" combo. Coming off an impressive spring campaign, Linwood looks primed to receive a moderate amount of playing time in relief of Seastrunk and may actually be the primary beneficiary of Glasco's early-season injury troubles, however bad they might be. At this point, Linwood looks to be more of a speed back until he adds more strength and size in Kaz's system. When he does, he should be a complete back more than capable of carrying the load. Next year will be huge for him, assuming Lache does what we all expect and leaves for the NFL. Until then, should something terrible happen, we'll be in good hands.

Devin Chafin -- RS-FR -- #28 -- 6-0, 215 pounds

Devin Chafin, the second redshirt freshman on Baylor's roster, might just be a Glasco Martin starter kit, if such a thing existed. Mostly a downhill runner at this point, he's got the power to push the pile and may just be the one you see if we need tough yards from a running back while Glasco is unavailable. I wouldn't expect too much in terms of yardage this year given the options we have ahead of him, but with Glasco graduating this year no matter what, his time will shortly come.

Johnny Jefferson -- FR -- #2 -- 5-9, 195 pounds

Stepping into the Terrance Williams-sized #2 Baylor jersey is true freshman Johnny Jefferson. Jefferson is almost guaranteed to redshirt this year, giving him four years of eligibility into the future. He chose Baylor in March 2012 after committing initially to A&M. We don't really need to talk about the ugly situation THAT caused on the Baylor and A&M message boards shortly thereafter...

With Baylor possibly losing both starters this year and a relatively wide-open competition beginning in the spring (should Lache leave for the NFL), you might see Jefferson jump up and nab himself some playing time next year at the expense of Shock Linwood. This year, he'll have to bide his time, working with Kaz to get stronger and faster.

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Running back may be the position at which Baylor has the most talent on the roster at this point. We've got two established starters, both of whom would be starters on almost any other team in the conference. Behind them are two hungry freshmen, fresh off their redshirts and ready to earn a place. All are talented; all are capable. And with an inexperienced QB easing into the offense, plenty of carries will be there for the taking.

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