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2019 Spring Practice Recap + Fall Preview: Running Back

What can the Ducks look forward to in the running back room?

Oregon v Oregon State
C.J. Verdell - He got next?
Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

In this edition, we’ll be taking a look at the running back group that has several key contributors returning for another go at the wheel.

Depth Chart (Spring)

1. C.J. Verdell 5’9 201 RS Freshman

2. Travis Dye 5’10 197 Sophomore

3. Cyrus Habibi-Likio 6’1 216 RS Sophomore

4. Darrien Felix 5’11 191 Sophomore

5. K.J. Maduike 5’10 216 Sophomore

What happened during spring practices?

  • The top two backs largely cemented their roles as the starter and “backup” so nothing new there.
  • Cyrus Habibi-Likio impressed the most out of the RB group and subsequently made it a competition to get more snaps with Dye. He still will likely get the brunt of the goal line work but he showed a lot of game outside of that role. Look for more CHL this season.
  • Darrien Felix could just never get right and was out for the last few practices with illness. Story of his Ducks career really. CHL wrestled the third back role away from him.
  • The pass protection was generally solid and didn’t have any egregious blown assignments between the rotation. I only counted one bad whiff during the spring game. Dye was impressive in the two minute drill to end the first half in particular. CHL wasn’t asked to do much blocking last season but he showed he’s willing to try this past spring.
  • Verdell showed much improved vision from last season when he was running into defenders seemingly on a consistent basis.

Post Spring Depth Chart

1. Verdell

2. Dye

3. CHL

4. Sean Dollars (freshman)

5. Felix

6. Jayvaun Wilson (freshman)

What could happen during fall camp and the 2019 season?

  • C.J. Verdell and Travis Dye should see the majority of the carries during the season with CHL coming in when one needs a rest.
  • The biggest question regarding Dye is how much he eats into Verdell’s share of carries as the primary change of pace back.
  • Can Verdell keep up the improvement in his vision and instincts seen over the spring into the fall?
  • Sean Dollars will have a role to play this upcoming season, a cameo of sorts before ending up being eligible for a redshirt. He could compete for a starting spot next season.
  • Jayvaun Wilson is a bigger back at 6’2 so he might float between running back and receiver this upcoming season before redshirting.
  • Felix has a long road ahead of him to compete for the snaps that aren’t taken by the backs above him. He may end up transferring at the end of the season.