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2014 Training Camp Position Preview: RBs
During the month of August, LibertyFlames.com will preview each position on Liberty's football roster before the Flames open the season on the road at North Carolina on Aug. 30.
LibertyFlames.com kicks off the position preview rotation by looking at the Flames' running back position, a group that will be looking for new leadership in 2014.
The position seemed like it was going to be a strength for the Flames this season following the breakout year from Desmond Rice in 2013. During his junior season, the 5-8, 195-pound back rushed for a career-best 967 yards and his 16 rushing touchdowns ranked second-best in single-season program history.
However, Rice suffered an injury during the practice following the Flames' annual spring game in April and he will miss the entire 2014 season. He will return for action in 2015 and is expected to fully recover from the injury.
Rice's understudy in 2013 will have to carry the workload for Liberty this season and the rising junior seems ready for the challenge. D.J. Abnar ranked second on the team last season, rushing 72 times for 411 yards and six touchdowns, all of which were career highs for the 5-10, 185-pound player.
The only other running back on Liberty's roster with game playing experience is Austin Kaigler (Jr., 5-9, 200), who rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in four games, last season.
Thanks to quarterback Josh Woodrum upping his ground attack in 2013 (48 carries, 154 yards, five rushing touchdowns), the Flames scored a school-record 36 team rushing touchdowns and rushed for 2,209 yards.
Third-year running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs will also have three rookies looking to back up Abnar and Kaigler in Todd Macon (R-Fr., 5-10, 210), Carrington Mosley (R-Fr., 5-11, 225) and Joshua Smith (R-Fr., 5-6, 175).
Liberty finished 2013 ranked No. 16 in the country in scoring offense (37.3 points per game) and the Flames will need another strong push from its running backs to keep Liberty scoring at a nationally recognized pace.
LibertyFlames.com will feature an interview with Abnar on Tuesday, while the website will preview the Flames' linebackers on Wednesday.
D.J. Abnar – Jr., 5-10, 185
Austin Kaigler – Jr., 5-9, 200
Todd Macon – R-Fr., 5-10, 210
Carrington Mosley – R-Fr., 5-11, 225
Joshua Smith – R-Fr., 5-6, 175