When dissecting the Michigan State roster, outside of quarterback, one of the most compelling position groups is the running backs. They are a key group in the Dave Warner offensive scheme. The Spartans love the ground and pound style of play, and to successfully run that, you need quality running backs. When looking into the running back position in East Lansing, there are plenty of options to choose from, but who is the best?
LJ Scott (Jr)
LJ Scott had a breakout freshman season that had Spartan fans all over falling in love with the young running back. Scott rushed for 11 touchdowns in 2015 and was a great short down, and red zone back. 2016 had some tough stretches for Scott, but overall ended well. LJ ran for 994 yards and 6 touchdowns averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He struggled to find the end zone compared to 2015, but so did the rest of the offense. Coming into 2017, I believe with the experience LJ has, he will finally hit a strong stride and will be a premier running and the featured back for the Spartans.
Gerald Holmes (Sr)
Holmes ran for 100 yards against Notre Dame in week 2 of this past season, and it looked like the junior back was going to be a key piece in the MSU offense. That thought quickly passed as Holmes struggled to gain more than 60 yards for the rest of the season with the exception of a 78 yard day against Illinois. Holmes finished the year with 431 yards and 5 touchdowns. In my opinion, Holmes shouldn’t see the field for anything more than 10 plays a game.
Madre London (Jr)
London had a very strong freshman season, running for 500 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hopes were high coming into 2016, but and injury riddled season led to a very disappointing campaign for London. Madre ran for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns in only 7 games. He is a great speed compliment to Scott’s power running. 2017 can be a strong breakout year for London with the attributes he can bring in the Spartan backfield. He can also take a role Holmes definitely isn’t capable of.
Weston Bridges (Fr)
With a backfield that struggled in 2016, 2017 is open to anyone and everyone who can make an impact. 3-star running back Weston Bridges could bring a strong skill set to the table for Warner to work with this season. Weston Bridges could be a freshman standout, much like Miles Bridges (no relation), that Spartan fans will fall in love with. A good sized running back, at 6-foot and 200 pounds, Bridges has a strong speed and power combo that can fit in well with the MSU pro-style offense. Watch out for this freshman in 2017.