Running back has evolved into a position where teams increase depth due to its physical nature. Long gone are the days where load backs constantly carried the ball 30 times per game. Many teams nowadays employ a one-two punch – Running Back by Committee (RBBC) – for 2 reasons. First, it keeps a fresh back in the game at all times. Secondly, it gives the defense 2 different styles of attack to prepare for. Kind of a no-brainer, right?
So, were the Scarlet Knights able to add depth to the running back deoth chart within the recruiting class of 2015?
Rutgers was able to sign Charles Snorweah, a 5-10, 175 pounder from Fairless Hilla, PA. Snorweah is the only player the staff added at running back, but he is definitely a good one. During the 2014 season at Pennsbury High School, he rushed for 2,805 yards and 39 TDs, breaking multiple team and Bucks County records along the way. He will move on to Rutgers as one of the most productive high school players to ever play in the Keystone State.
Snorweah is a power runner, elusive enough to slip tackles at times as opposed to taking defenders head on, all the time. He’s a down-hill back built low to the ground, who breaks out of his cuts with great explosiveness. He has also shown the patience to allow blocks to develop downfield and cut off his offensive lineman.
Snorweah, a 3-star recruit, can stretch and cut as well as stick his foot in the ground and find daylight backside. His speed is better than sufficient, but not elite, although he’s shown the ability to pull away from DBs in the open-field.
The one other player within the class with a chance to take hand-offs out of the backfield is Ronnie James, a 5-11, 185-pounder from Glassboro, NJ. He has great potential on the defensive side of the ball, but currently, he’s more of a natural with the ball in his hands. He has extraordinary vision, lateral quickness and long speed. But it should be expected that he will start out in the defensive backfield.
With running back being one of the deepest positions on Rutgers’ roster, the Scarlet Knights were content to finish the class with only one player projected to the position in Snorweah. An early commitment from Saquon Barkley — a 4-star recruit also from Pennsylvania — seemed like a great start for the 2015 recruiting team, but he later flipped to Penn State. Snorweah, although undersized, is impressive in his own right, as he absorbs contact and can run in between the tackles with balance and power.
Whether Snorweah remains at running back is yet to be determined, as he also projects to safety and cornerback, positions he’s expressed interest in playing. But he’d likely touch the field as a ball carrier within his first couple years on the banks due to the quality of his skill-set, highlighted by his instincts and ability to finish off the run.