Rex Burkhead (#22)
Aaron Green (#2)
Braylon Heard (#5)
As reported on Corn Nation several months back, Heard and Green have both transferred out; Green to TCU and Braylon Heard might be going to Kentucky(!?). One of them was projected to get some substantial carries in 2013, but apparently fell behind Ameer Abdullah in 2012 and opted to chase their dreams elsewhere.
(Burkhead has obviously graduated.)
Guys Already/Currently on Roster:
Ameer Abdullah (#8)
Imani Cross (#32)
King Frazier (#23)
Murat Kuzu (#24)
Graham Nabity (#29)
Jordan Nelson (#39)
Kuzu, Nabity, and Nelson probably won't be in the discussion because they're all low-tier guys, so the battle here really comes down to Abdullah (the most likely consensus starter), Cross, and Frazier. However, I'd like to throw a wrench in the discussion and suggest that Abdullah possibly move to a greater position of need (WR anyone?) and then say that Cross or Frazier take over the primary load of carries.
Cross is your big back. He's 6'1", 225 lbs. That's Burkhead level of beef. Frazier, at 6'0", 220 lbs., brings some noteworthy beef in his own right, so one has to think the tandem should really be between the two of them given the style that the offense produced with Burkhead as the workhorse.
Meanwhile Abdullah's a fleet-footed 5'9" 190 lb. guy who can do great things but seems kind of shaky if asked to carry the ball 15+ times a game in this conference. There are people in his camp for good reason, but I don't think the Abdullah-to-start meme is a foregone conclusion just yet.
Tentative vote right now is for Cross because he's got the build of a solid back. All he needs to do is slap on a pair of Rex-style gloves and he'll be good to go.
Guys Coming In:
Terrelle Newby (#??)
Adam Taylor (#??)
It could cause some drama, positive and negative, if Newby or Taylor come in and rip the starting job away from any of the three projected front-runners, but these guys are essentially highly rated RBs brought in to fill the void that Heard and Green left.
1. If Abdullah is moved, who becomes the starter?
2. What numbers do Newby and Taylor wear? Do they go anywhere near the #2 and #5 that Green and Heard left behind? Is that appropriate? Do we even care?
3. Can Newby and Taylor beat out Abdullah but not Cross or Frazier because Cross/Fraizer are just built more like Burkhead? MR what the hell are you talking about and are you biased towards bigger backs?