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Not Many Running Backs Left Standing Headed Into Garnet and Gold Game


Ryan Green, get here soon.

Florida State fans aren't likely to see a ton out of the running back position in Saturday's Garnet and Gold game, the Florida State backs have been beaten and battered over the course of the Spring and there aren't many left standing.

Devonta Freeman, the team's leading rusher the past couple of years, has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain after getting stepped on during a tackle earlier during Spring camp.

Then there's Mario Pender who missed all of last season with a sports hernia after enrolling early so he could go through Spring a year ago. He got dinged up in the scrimmage on Monday and was held out of practice Wednesday. He participated on Thursday but with head injuries you can never be too sure and it isn't a given he goes on Saturday either.

James Wilder is definitely out for the Garnet and Gold game. His Spring finale was Monday's scrimmage where he displayed some toughness and brutality on the goalline. Unfortunately it came at a price. Wilder re-aggravated a rib injury that had been nagging him and will be held out so he can rest and be healthy for camp at the end of the Summer.

But that leaves the backfield relatively empty for the Spring game.

Chad Abrams is the lone back who is anywhere close to completely healthy. He will likely get a number of carries potentially opposite Mario Pender. But the two backs of note for next season, Wilder and Freeman, are both out for the Garnet and Gold game.

That's disappointing, but ultimately wise considering how vital the run game will be come next season.

With the three backs healthy Florida State should have a nice three-headed backfield with Pender serving as a home-run threat to compliment the balance of the Wilder-Freeman attack. 

But this also underscores concerns that Florida State coaches and fans will have about depth all season. Highly touted St. Pete Catholic RB Ryan Green will likely find himself in a position to see carries as a freshman should anything happen to the other three. Green is extremely fast and very talented, but given the kind of program Florida State is trying to become, I doubt they're thrilled he may be thrust into action as a true freshman rather than be given a chance to come along slowly in the system.

Regardless, for the sake of the Spring game, with a QB competition playing out, having a pass-heavy offensive attack won't be the worst thing that could happen to the Seminoles.

They just better hope it doesn't have to be that way next Fall.


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