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Paging Sam Brownlee

Sam Brownlee isn't walking through that door, folks!

Al Young is graduating, along with Damian Sims.  Dana Brown is gone.  Jevon Pugh is apparently out.  We have no more scholarship running backs.  None.  Zero.  Let's review the potential options:

  • Paki O'Meara (5'11", 210, Soph.) - Walk-on from Cedar Rapids Washington.  Never made the two-deep (though, when stuck behind AY and Sims, not many would).  All indications are he's not ready for prime time.

  • Brian Mungongo (5'9", 175, Soph.) - Walk-on from Mansfield, TX (home of incoming DB David Cato and potential incoming S Terran Benton), where he backed up Florida RB Kestahn Moore.  A little small for a full-time running back, and his recruiting numbers (the 4.8 40 in particular) indicate he might not be that quick, either.  Again, all indications are he might not quite be ready.  Looks a little like Tracy Morgan.

  • Nate Guillory (5'9", 180, Soph.) - Committed this afternoon, after the news of Jevon Pugh's dismissal hit the wires.  Junior college transfer from Coffeyville, KS.  Ran for nearly 1000 yards (7.25 yards per carry (!)) and 14 touchdowns last season.  Also a little smallish, but coaches have indicated (at least to him) that they think he's physically ready to go.  I'm not willing to chalk this one up until he signs the letter, as he has committed and de-committed from North Carolina and Kansas State since October 23.

  • Shonn Greene (5'11", 225, Jr.) - Shipped to Kirkwood Comm. College for academic reasons following 2006 season.  It's not the first time; Greene was initially placed in prep school following high school to get his grades and test scores in line.  Mid-season rumor was he could return next season.  When asked for comment, Al Young said, "man, Shonn likes to watch TV."  In other words, don't get your hopes up.  When he was on campus, Greene was a Ron Dayne-like stud, running over every linebacker in his path.  If he can make it back, we know he can run the rock.  Paired with a quick back (like Guillory) and things might not be so bad.

  • Tony Cornelius (5'10", 182, Fr.) - Incoming freshman from Boca Raton, FL.  Damian Sims' cousin (obviously, that means nothing).  Has a pretty decent highlight tape.  No indication from anyone of whether he's considered game-ready, though if Guillory and another back commit (or if one of the walk-ons is a servicable backup), he would likely redshirt.  May or may not be related to Don Cornelius.  The damn near naked pictures scare me, though.

  • Mark Ingram (5'10", 195, Fr.) - Recruit from Flint, MI.  Also being pursued by MSU, Wisky, Rocky Top, and - you guessed it - Zook.  No indication if we have a snowball's chance in hell of landing him, but his comments today indicate the open running back spot certainly doesn't hurt.

  • Jason Ford (5'10", 209, Fr.) - Illinois recruit poached from Iowa by the Zooker 2 weeks ago at the height of the Ferentz-to-Michigan rumors.  Listed as a "solid verbal" to Illinois, but anyone who changes his mind as frequently as Ford has to be considered soft at best.  Big Ten-ready frame.  St. Louis area all-time rushing leader, so production isn't too much of a concern.

  • Octavious McKoy (5'11", 180, Fr.) - Recruit out of Connecticut.  Iowa is one of the final 3-4 teams in the mix here, though there again are questions of his preparedness for immediate play.  Unquestionably kickass name.

  • Jebus H. Christ (dimensions unknown, Super-Sr.) - Plenty of years of eligibility available.  Doesn't have the top-end speed you'd like out of a feature back, but can accelerate quickly when properly motivated.  Would likely shiv KOK before the end of the Iowa/FIU game on September 6.

All of this will shake out through National Signing Day, and then again at spring practice (where the running back Royal Rumble threatens to overtake Christiansen vs. McNutt as the overarching storyline).  If things shake out as expected, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Well, that, and the threat of Ron Zook and his booster money personality.