Who's our Best Running Back for 2021?

Herbert is long gone to the NFL, leaving a critical position in need of someone stepping up.

Who gets the Rock?

Who is the back-up?

Who is the slash/third down back?

Do you predict any position changes?

Go....

***Let's not get into Transfer Speculation just yet*****

I'd like to get your Perspective on the season

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

As long as it's not Braxton Burmeister, we good

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

This ^

HTHokie93

I honestly think/hope it is Blackshear. We need that dynamic play maker that can pop off a 50 yard play every once in a while. I don't believe Holston is that guy and with how long he has been in the system you kind of know what you have.

Like Trayvon - who would get benched as soon as he broke a dynamic run.

Damn, DC gotta stop typing in that fuzzy font. LOL. JK

Word on the street is his played in the slot a majority of the Spring.

"Can't argue with that logic" - Rick Sanchez

Holston is RB1 with Blackshear getting reps in that slash/third down back role. I think we see Marco Lee in some short yardage situations. I really hope King is back in the fold too.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I'm worried it's gonna be Burmeister...

Is coronavirus over yet?

Based on the QB depth chart, it cannot be Burmeister.

please don't issue challenges like that to the coaching staff /s

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

You needed to photoshop to replace happy with corn and remove an n

Cornelson - "Hold my beer"

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Based on last year definitely Blackshear

TBD although there's definitely an opportunity for someone to grab. Without seeing a majority of the new faces play college football it's hard to speculate.

Here's what I'm hoping for:
RB1 - Holston
Backup - Marco Lee
3rd down/Slash - Blackshear, I hope he gets jet sweeps and some look at the Slot too
King - I hope they give him the Kick returns to keep him involved and some runs out of the back. He can be a solid contributor

I'm hoping if the writing is on the wall, some of these guys not mentioned above switch to defense or WR.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

The one problem with Blackshear and jet sweeps is, because of the scouting report with him being a RB, defenses will overflow on him. That would be a good thing if you had a jackhammer QB keeping on the inverted veer or counter. But, as mentioned at the top of the thread, they need to minimize likely gang tackled carries for Burmeister.

I want Blackshear as a tailback and a fourth WR flexed out at times to get a matchup advantage. Not a traditional slot guy.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Blackshear as a tailback and a fourth WR flexed out at times to get a matchup advantage

^^^This. We've seen that the staff adjusts their plans/plays based on what they have (there is history here). With a QB whom can run your offense, but may not be able to be the jackhammer.... You adapt!! and this idea is an excellent example....

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

In my fan fiction dream scenario Kenji Christian and Brunson emerge from Fall camp as a Imoh-Humes-esque 1-2 punch at RB, with Marco Lee as a possible powerback substitute in this scenario, and King getting some more carries as he adds 20lbs of muscle from now to November.

My actual prediction is that it's a muddled combination of Holston, Marco Lee, Blackshear, and King, with maybe one other RB earning some carries.

Kenji likely RB1 next year, so look for him to get late Carrie's this year and build up over the season.

Can we not have Carrie's on this team? That could get a little awkward!

via GIPHY

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Blackshear has the goods... but in my film reviews I went back and watched Holston in the Miami game. If we get that Holston, I think he is the primary ball carrier. He seemed to find the holes better than Blackshear, and delivered some serious finish to his runs.

The Hokies need both to be 4.3-4.6 YPG guys this year.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I like Holston- he runs with a little anger.

This! Holston ran like a man possessed in that game. Showed athletic ability, will and a burst. I hope he gets the opportunity - could be cedrick humes vs UVA all year long

I think it's going to be a crapshoot for quite a few weeks this year since positive covid tests appear to still be an issue even for vaccinated folks. That's going to play into how often we have a solid RB more than the actual players involved. Just my guess, would love to see a season where everyone is cleared to play week-to-week.

2021 Season Challenge: only comment with Batman memes.

Previous Challenges: Star Wars (2019), Marvel (2020)

this would be a nightmare...

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

i want it to be Keshawn King so badly

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm interested to see his weight when the stats finish updating. A regular off-season where he can hit the weight room and nutrition center could let us see him at his full potential.

It's Time to go to Work

He can't be a big contributor if he is <190 IMO

I got Drew Harris

After Holston in Miami as French noted above + what I've heard about his development makes me want nothing but Holston. I agree that Blackshear is a noted RB so running him on the jetsweep probably isn't a great idea. Definitely need both on the field this year, don't care where they line up I think they're both set to have a significantly larger role this season than last.

Probably my most (only?) optimistic take about this season is that someone steps up to fill the Herbert void.

(add if applicable) /s

It's going to be interesting for me to see if VT is able to create enough of a passing threat to force defenses to loosen up in the box. VT didn't really have a true passing threat last year and Herbert was a beast despite defenses loading the box. If Fuente is right that this is the best he's felt about the throwing game since he's been here and Burmeister can punish defenses for trying to take away the run, forcing them to adjust, thus opening up the running lanes, I hope that someone emerges to take advantage.

I have, for most of the off-season, felt that our offense is bound to take a step back with Herbert and Hooker leaving. Statistically, they were our best offensive weapons last year. But if Burmeister and his WRs can prove the doubters wrong and show that they can consistently hurt defenses through the air we may not need a KH type of back to have success on the ground in 2021. I remain skeptical but I could see how, if Burmeister and the WRs can prove to be effective, we could have a decent running game. I think it's a long shot but not outside the realm of possibility.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Don't disagree with you. One of my apprehensions is the passing game. The way I'm justifying it is we should be better and all around healthier at WR this year hopefully taking some pressure of BB by just getting open which I think we have struggled to do consistently for multiple years (not sure if route trees or players though)

(add if applicable) /s

Yeah a big reason for my skepticism is that the coaches have been talking about having "6 or 8 guys ready to go" every year since they arrived and, outside of Ford and Phillips, I can't really think of any receivers who have been consistently reliable for us. I'm skeptical of Burmeister's ability to pass and even more skeptical of the WRs' abilities to get open. We haven't been able to find/coach/scheme any WRs into successful careers in 5 years so why should I expect us to start now?

But if Fuente says that this is the best he's felt about our passing attack since he's been here then I'm willing to wait and see. I don't buy it yet but I'll be watching to see if it manifests on the field of play. I would love nothing more than for a couple break out WRs to have big seasons with Burmeister lighting up secondaries across the ACC. I just don't have any faith that it will happen. Prove me wrong. I hope Fuente does.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

We have enough choices to start a bracket

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Yep. I caught myself checking to see if Brunson was still on the team because I really liked his HS tape and I heard nothing about him last fall.

Seems like some folks are excited about Christian too, but I am following my freshman rule for everyone except Harvey- if you assume they won't play as freshmen, you will never be disappointed. I hope Harvey doesn't break my heart.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

So far, my unscientific theory of- if you don't see a healthy true freshman in any of the free eligibility games, they won't materialize to 2-deep players is ringing true. Can't think of one yet that did.

Personally, I think this is the year that Jack Click finally makes the switch and wins the Heisman.

2021 Season Challenge: only comment with Batman memes.

Previous Challenges: Star Wars (2019), Marvel (2020)

Legit had to check the roster to see if by some miracle Click was still on the team

(add if applicable) /s

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Marco Lee has shown out in spring and summer workouts, interested to see how fall camp goes for him. Holston will likely be RB1 to start, but I wouldn't be surprised if Lee passes him.

The first plot twist will be a freshman taking over, my pick being Kenji Christian. His film pops out to me, and he's got stiff HS competition in the heart of SEC country.

The other plot twist is the potential attrition during fall camp. I'd hate to see any of these kids transfer, but it does happen.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Yes, the running back list is something
Holston
Blackshear
Lee
King
Brunson
Gary
Hampton
Thomas
Christian
Black
Overton (walk on)

That is a lot of bodies

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I was a fan of Gary's HS film. I wonder if his injury has hampered his development.

Is coronavirus over yet?

A broken femur if I remember correctly? I can't imagine it not hampering his development. He probably had to spend an entire year just getting back to his original strength with it.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I question both the coaching and recruiting strategy here.

I think it started with some misses that resulted in reaching on some kids hoping the odds played out to a success. I think it will settle itself out and doubt it will be a recurring philosophy.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

GTFO.

pls no

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Wonder if any of them can play QB...

HTHokie93

If there is a year to have extra it's this year with the super seniors and extra scholarships. It will pair down after this season and possibly some during it. I'm a big fan of Kenji athletically

I thought Chance Black was gonna be a slot guy

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Given that list, it is surprising we haven't seen some transfers already.

Hampton and Brunson are pretty much gone right? The rest are either in the top 5 or are true freshman. And everyone in the top 5 got buzz this offseason, even Tajh Gary, in fact that's the first RB Tisdale mentioned when asked about offensive players playing well in the spring

I think transfers or position switches are a must. You can't rep 7 non true fresh RBs in practice- it's impossible

You would have to think that after camp, they tell a few that position changes are their best bet with VT or they transfer.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Was wondering when Gary would get in the picture.

I've been rooting for King, but he seems to struggle to put on some mass. i think that is my biggest concern. Says he is listed at 180, but I could have sworn that it was actually 170. When you think Lee is 220s, thats a big difference.

Previously LowBrau.

Fu likes bigger backs with speed... but who doesn't? in his offense missed/broken tackles are key.

I like big backs and I cannot lie

Gotta make the first man miss and hit the hole. We couldn't really open a hole the first few seasons with decent RBs. Now we have guys that can open the hole, just need a RB that can make the first man miss.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Gotta make the first man miss and hit the hole.

Was always my strategy in college too

Problem with me was I was usually the first man and I would always miss.

I thinking it will be Holston. As French said, he was awesome against Miami and I hope we see a lot of that from him this year. He has the size and speed to be a primary back.

I see Blackshear as a 3rd down guy, but maybe he will get more carries after getting more familiar with the offense. Lee and King are the next two guys, IMO. I really hope that King put on some weight and can become a regular. The dude has a lot of talent and is one of the few home run hitters in the backfield.

I also hope that we aren't playing 5-6 guys at RB and we go with just a couple of guys so they can get a rhythm.

Finally, TSL noted a couple of young RBs weren't at the media day yesterday, so maybe the RB is getting smaller.

Brunson and Hampton didn't appear in the RB picture.

Some smoke swirling around that one. I'd imagine we will hear more in the next few days

Smoke has been swirling for a long time if you connect the dots. We might hear about it, we might not hear anything at all.

Just to connect the dots for everyone because it's been around for months....

When Etute returned to the apartment, the security video showed he was with two other guys who looked like players. Insiders have intimated in a couple of forums that these two players were RBs.

Now, what does that mean long term? No idea.

Recruiting a huge issue. On and "off" paper.

Correct.

Saw the guys in front of and behind them and decided to leave/have position changed?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Didn't King only put on ~5lbs in the offseason?

"Give me a fuΒ’king beer", Anonymous Genius

Most recent size update on the official online roster is 5-11 180.

5lbs! I put on 12 lbs in less than a week in my prime at a friend's destination wedding.

Size isn't his issue. Holding on to the ball is. Hopefully they coached him up on the turnovers. He can be a nice change of pace back for us if he holds onto the ball.

And by coaching up on the turnovers you mean the return of this legend:

That damn thing works!!

results don't lie...

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I really liked Holston in his relatively limited carries last year. If somebody gets the start over him, I will have to be excited for the potential.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Brunson and Hampton are sitting out the first 2 weeks of camp to stay under the Roster Limit. Currently Tech has 122 payers and only 110 can start the fall camp. Once School starts they can have more at practice. This might imply they are very low on the depth chart.

https://roanoke.com/sports/college/va_tech/virginia-tech-rbs-jalen-hampt...

Also, if you go all the way to the end of the Article, there are 59 photos from the first day of practice.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Interesting Burmeister and Tre Turner aren't "sitting out" to make the practice numbers work

There's a useful tweet thread there -- Holston, Blackshear, and King the "ones"

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Apparently all three of Kenji, Black, and Malachi are impressing. That's definitely promising.

Wondering what happened with Lee. Sounded like he was really making some progress and impressing in the spring but has since slid back.

Sounds like King gained the muscle back and moved up a spot

Any of those backs want to play defense?