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The Situation at Running Back

The Post-Dayes Era Begins

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-North Carolina State vs Vanderbilt Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

In 2015 Dave Doeren put together a recruiting class that featured three running backs with a four star rating. It’s now two years later and there have been position changes, injuries, and even a departure, but their time has finally come. Matt Dayes is officially a part of Wolfpack football history and it’s now time for Reggie Gallaspy and Nyheim Hines to come to the forefront.

Both juniors have their own unique stories their first two years. Gallaspy quickly joined the running back rotation his freshman season, sharing secondary carries with Dakwa Nichols after Shadrach Thornton was dismissed. His role increased after Matt Dayes went down with an injury and he had his two best games of his career toward the end of 2015. After coming back from some injury issues around the time of the bowl game, Gallaspy flashed his bruising running style a few times as a backup to Matt Dayes in 2016. His 37 yard touchdown run at ECU was particularly memorable.

Hines’ services were more needed at receiver than in the backfield his freshman season, thus he was moved there on arrival. The speedster never really made the impact there that people had hoped he would though. Hines has actually scored more touchdowns in the return game, where he’s been dynamite, than he has as a receiver. Now he’s back at running back where he played in high school and most would agree he belongs.

Hines and Gallaspy now become the central figures in the rushing attack, and both backs feel like candidates for a breakout year. They’ll get to run behind a veteran offensive line and hopefully be able to take advantage of the other’s polar opposite running style. Gallaspy brings the power when he runs. At 225 pounds, he’s a load and he’s not afraid to just try and run through you instead of trying to run around you.

Hines is on the complete other end of the spectrum. He doesn’t have the size to throw around like Gallaspy, but he’s one of the fastest players in the entire conference. Being able to switch back and forth between a power back and a guy with the next level speed and quickness of Hines can be tough for defenses to deal with.

The potential here is certainly exciting, and while neither has really had enough opportunities to prove themselves yet, the talent here and complementary style of each player gives reason to optimistic about the rushing attack post-Matt Dayes.