<em>This is the fifth in a series previewing the 2017 Utah State football team’s position groups. The others can be found at the following links: <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_30eb12c6-8786-11e7-aa63-0f091dd2d683.html” target=”_blank”>Offensive line</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_9393f23a-884e-11e7-857a-c7dae436ad41.html” target=”_blank”>Defensive backs</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/article_644a94d2-8913-11e7-9a22-9fcb1ade0158.html” target=”_blank”>Quarterbacks</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/usu/article_a8a3a886-89e4-11e7-87bc-c7c82ea54a82.html” target=”_blank”>Wide receivers.</a>
LOGAN – Utah State’s running back group returns three guys who have had significant playing time at USU, but it was Tonny Lindsey who led all rushers with 763 yards and six touchdowns in 2016.
Lindsey will be splitting time in the backfield with fellow senior LaJuan Hunt and junior Justen Hervey. Hunt ran for just 140 yards in 2016, but picked up 338 yards as a sophomore and 540 as a freshman. Hervey leads both in yards per carry, as he rushed for 160 yards on 26 carries in his two seasons.
“We bring a lot of different things to the table,” Lindsey said. “I think we’re all different in a little way.”
Quarterback Kent Myers agreed.
“There is a lot to say about them,” he said. “We have Tonny Lindsey, LaJuan Hunt and Justen Hervey, three running backs that can start in any program. It’s hard to have three running backs, but we’re going to make it happen. They have the ability, and they’ve shown over the summer that they will get on the field, whether that’s at running back, kickoff returns, or whatever.”
Lindsey became the starter last year after an injury to Devante Mays, a starter from a year ago who is now with the Green Bay Packers. It set the team back last season, but allowed for more reps from the other backs.
“That game experience absolutely helps,” head coach Matt Wells said. “Unfortunately, it may be the result of someone else’s injury, which you don’t want.”
Two junior college transfers, Tywayne Adams and Eltoro Allen, joined the team in the offseason. Allen sat out with injury for most of fall camp but scored the only two touchdowns in the team’s final fall camp scrimmage.
“He’s got some speed and quickness,” Wells said. “Even though it is late in training camp we’ve got to find some ways to integrate him in there with the other backs.”
Other running backs include Morian Walker, Jr., who is expected to miss significant time with an injury received in the spring, and two true freshmen, SJ Fehoko and Tre Miller.
Lindsey said he expects to have an even bigger year after an offseason of hitting the weight room and eating right.
“My body transformed a lot,” he said. “When I first got here I was 15 percent body fat. I was a little chubby. I was only 177. Now I’m way bigger and fast. A Lot of guys are in there working hard trying to get their body fat down.”