Running backs seeing plenty of carries

Published 5:16 pm Monday, August 19, 2013

As in the first scrimmage, Troy focused on its running game on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said last week that he hoped to see the group of backs begin to separate themselves.

Three frontrunners have emerged but several others are still in the running to see some action for the Trojans.

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Brandon Burks, a sophomore from Daleville, stole the show in the first two scrimmages for Troy. Senior Khary Franklin is listed as Troy’s top back as the updated depth chart was released on Monday. Freshman Jordan Chunn has made an early impression and has received plenty of snaps with the first team offense.

“Those three guys have proven themselves,” said running backs coach Jeff Beckles after Saturday’s scrimmage. “We have some other guys that are capable of helping the team but after the two scrimmages we feel confident in the three guys that have been running with the first team.”

Troy’s top two quarterbacks Corey Robinson and Deon Anthony both sat out Saturday’s scrimmage due to injury giving reserves Dallas Tidwell and Brandon Silvers more reps and allowing the backs to get more carries.

Elba product Michael Lindsey remains in the mix at running back and sophomore Daron White is expected to return to practice this week after recovering for an injury.

All of Troy’s running backs combined to carry the ball just six times last season (White and Franklin each had three). Backup quarterback Deon Anthony is the team’s leading returning rusher.

“We’re going to use several different guys like we always do so we’re not looking for just one guy, it will take three, four even five backs over the course of a season,” Beckles said.

One dark horse for Troy at the position is freshman Tim Longmire. The Tallahassee native spent the early part of fall camp at wide receiver learning the routes before moving to his natural position at running back.

“He’s a guy that we knew would be a little behind at running back because we wanted to see him at receiver too,” said Beckles. “He’s really coming on and I think will help us in the long run in the backfield.”

Beckles said Longmire’s role on the team could be compared to Justin Albert’s from last season. Albert rushed 70 times but also caught 31 passes.

Also at the position Troy has Josh Anderson, who is a true freshman.

The Trojans will open the season by hosting UAB on Aug. 31 at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.