Troy Trojans look for lead running back

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 19, 2016

Troy enters the 2016 season trying to replace the 1,005 yards that former running back Brandon Burks finished with in 2015.

Jordan Chunn, Andre Flakes and Josh Anderson will all get the opportunity to step up.

“We have already seen about six guys,” said Trojans Offensive Coordinator Kenny Edenfield. “We have a lot of depth there. We are excited about that opportunity.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Even with the depth, Edenfield and the Trojans are looking for one running back to become the workhorse.

“I think Coach (Neal) Brown’s philosophy is to find just one guy and ride them,” Edenfield said. “I think you saw that last year. I think Chunn could do that and I think that Andre (Flakes) could do that.”

Chunn comes into the 2016 season with the most experience. The red shirt junior has played in 26 games and has rushed for 1,058 yards and 21 touchdowns. Chunn played in only two games in 2015 due to an injury. This season Chunn has slimmed down and is ready to resume his role as the team’s leading rusher.

“He has changed his body. Your going to notice a trimmer Jordan Chunn,” said Trojans head coach Neal Brown. “He can carry the load. He has done a nice job.

Flakes stepped up and became the secondary back behind Burks after Chunn’s injury.

The junior ran for 243 yards in 2015 and had three touchdowns. In the offseason Flakes had surgery on his shoulder.

“Andre Flakes coming off shoulder surgery and really showed what he could do last year. He probably had his best game against Appalachian State, which had the best defense in the league last year,” Brown said.

Anderson will be the mix up back for the Trojans. The hefty 255-pound junior played in all 10 games and had 72 yards on 10 carries.

“Josh Anderson is good mix-up,” Brown said. “He is a guy that is 255 that runs the ball. 255 is probably being kind to him.”

One of the running backs that has turned some heads is freshman Jabir Frye. The freshman comes to Troy from Escambia County High School.

“He is fast,” Brown said. “From signing day on we talked about his speed. He is a guy that will add a different dimension for us. We will line him in empty and he will return some kicks for us. We have to be creative until he gets bigger. We have to be creative in how we use him. We are excited about him. We thought he was a sleeper in our signing class.”

All four of these running backs feature a different strength to the Trojans running game. Edenfield is looking for the type of back that will run hard and make their own holes while at the same time make people miss.

“Any running back can run through an open hole,” Edendfield said. “We want the guys that can make his own hole or when he gets into a hole he can run over the guy. That is what makes a good running back. Anybody can run through an open hole. That is what we are counting on. All these guys can do some special things and we are excited to watch them go.”