2013 Running Backs Guide

2013 Running Backs Guide

Bulldog Playbook breaks down the 2013 running backs.

Marteze Waller - The only returning running back for Fresno State that has logged a rushing attempt in Bulldog red. Waller averaged 4.2 yards per carry in his 41 attempts last year. He carried the ball in six games last season, mostly after the Bulldogs had secured big leads. Although Waller's freshman stats weren't overly impressive, the coaches gave him the nod over Milton Knox as the team's second back behind Robbie Rouse. Waller has the best vision of the team's running backs and is most likely to break a long run. Waller may be the first back on the field in week one, but will be splitting reps with multiple running backs.

Josh Quezada - Quezada hasn't played in a game for Fresno State, but he's undoubtedly the most experienced back on the team. The BYU transfer totaled over 800 yards and 6 touchdowns as an underclassman for the Cougars. As a freshman, Quezada gained 505 yards in a similar situation that he faces with Fresno State, sharing reps with multiple backs in a spread offense. Quezada was named the 2012 Dick Duncan Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year for Fresno State last year and is expected to make an immediate impact this year. He is a strong runner, but doesn't have great top-end speed.

Malique Micenheimer - Micenheimer offers the Bulldogs a much different look than the team's other four backs. Micenheimer has been a linebacker, a fullback, and now a running back for Fresno State. There is no doubt that he is a physical player at 232 pounds and he can bring that element to the backfield in a big way. He is known to run over a defender in practice, and will come away on the winning end of a collision more often than not. Micenheimer's experience as an H-back has also shown his ability to block out of the backfield. Micenheimer has dealt with an ankle injury this fall, however, and will be left out of the rotation until he is 100%.

T.J. Thomas - T.J. Thomas redshirted last season, but has shown flashes through spring and fall camp. Thomas scored three touchdowns in the team's open scrimmage. He is a physical, downhill runner who gives the Bulldogs another back they can insert in the offense without hesitation. Thomas could see significant playing time to start the season if Micenheimer is not back to full strength.

Dontel James - Dontel James held an offer from Arizona before committing to Fresno State. James reported to camp at 5-foot-11, 210 lbs. He doesn't look like a freshman and fits the mold of what the coaches want at running back. He may just have the best combination of strength and speed of the Bulldogs running backs. Minor injuries through fall camp kept James from moving up the depth chart, but don't expect him to redshirt. James gives the Bulldogs more depth at running back and could be plugged into the rotation if someone ahead of him has a minor injury.

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