The Texas Tech football team used senior running back and the first 1,000-yard rusher since 1998 DeAndre Washington as its primary ball carrier this season, but there are also multiple other backs.
Junior running back Quinton White and sophomore running back Justin Stockton were used in certain situations last season and had some key impact plays for the team.
Washington said the running back position has more depth than any other position on the team.
“It’s actually crazy, the running backs have been the best group on the field. Honestly, I’m not just saying that. Every day we push each other,” he said. “That’s what kind of makes us so competitive, everybody wants to eat.”
Stockton carried the ball 48 times last season, but racked up 396 rushing yards and found the end zone a total of five times. His 8.3 yards per attempt was the highest average for a Red Raider in 19 years, according to the Tech Athletics website.
The sophomore running back said his best improvement this offseason came from watching more film and being able to understand defenses better.
Entering his second season at the collegiate level, Stockton said he is noticeably more prepared heading into this season compared to last year.
“More confidence. Just because of a great offensive line, great receivers, great running backs. I’ve learned a lot from coach Jinks,” Stockton said, “and if I need some help, game wise, I can ask DeAndre Washington some questions.”
Stockton had some of the most electrifying plays in 2014, including a 75-yard rushing touchdown against UTEP and a 69-yard rushing touchdown against West Virginia. The 75-yard rush is the eighth-longest touchdown run in school history and the longest since 2010, according to the Tech Athletics website.
Despite showing great potential as a freshman, Stockton said he has to stay humble because he knows he is surrounded by other talented running backs.
“Just stay humble. Staying humble is the key. I know (Washington) is going to get his touches, (White) is going to get his touches,” he said. “If I get some touches, that’s good. If I don’t, just be patient. God knows, the coaches know. So when it’s time to put number four in, I’m ready.”
Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury noted that he is confident in White’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Because of this, White has added muscle this offseason and has had some practice at the fullback position, Kingsbury said.
“I’m a lot more confident (than last season) in myself,” White said. “I gained a little weight but I’m still probably as fast as I was. I’m a lot smarter than what I used to be so it’ll be a fun season for me.”
In addition to his go-to spin move, White said he is going to be running over defenders a lot more this season.
The Red Raiders running back rotation will also be expanded to four this season, as redshirt freshman Demarcus Felton has been catching the attention of his teammate during practice.
“That boy (Felton), he can ball, man,” White said. “People don’t know who he is yet, but he’ll be well recognized as soon as the season starts up. That boy can ball.”