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Finish What We've Started Preview: RBs

August 11, 2010  Lychburg, Va.  RSS
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SirChauncey Holloway is one of three running backs Coach Danny Rocco is going to look toward this year to carry the load of Liberty's rushing attack.

SirChauncey Holloway is one of three running backs Coach Danny Rocco is going to look toward this year to carry the load of Liberty's rushing attack.

Throughout the month of August, will be running previews of each position on the Flames' roster as part of its Countdown to Kickoff coverage, leading up to the home opener against St. Francis, Pa., on Sept. 4.

The web site's position previews continue today with a look at Liberty's running backs. Last year, this unit produced 31 rushing touchdowns, a mark that ranked No. 3 nationally in terms of total team rushing touchdowns.

Running Backs
The Flames' second offensive skill position beside its wide receiver corps is another that brings a smile to Rocco's face. However, unlike the receivers, who are a junior-laden group, Liberty's running backs are even younger, as the three players who will be challenging for playing time are all at a sophomore status.

Despite their youth, Rocco is still confident they will be able to carry the workload, especially after their play in 2009.

Liberty finished last year ranked No. 21 in the country, averaging 176.1 rushing yards per game. The Flames have been a rushing powerhouse during the last eight years, surpassing the 2,000 yard mark six times during the span.

The Flames just missed that threshold in 2009, rushing for 1,937 yards, and lowered their team rushing average to 2,138.4 yards per season during the last eight years. However, Liberty increased its rushing touchdown average to 22.9 scoring runs per season over the same time span, thanks to 31 rushing touchdowns.

Two of the three key scoring components which helped Liberty rank No. 3 in the country in rushing touchdowns have returned for the 2010 season.

Mike Brown tied for the team lead with nine rushing touchdowns, while ranking second with 442 rushing yards. A pair of true freshmen combined for 16 rushing touchdowns, in Aldreakis Allen (530 yards and nine touchdowns) and SirChauncey Holloway (285 yards and seven touchdowns).

Holloway has returned for his sophomore season and will look to be one of three key rushers for the Flames, while Allen will not be returning to the program in 2010.

"You will see three guys in the backfield for us this year, competing for playing time at running back," stated Rocco. "The position is going to come down to the play of SirChauncey Holloway, Korrey Davis and Chase Barnett."

Davis and Barnett will be newcomers to the playing field for the Flames, but they are not rookies with the program. Davis had to sit out last year after transferring to Liberty from fellow FCS program Massachusetts, while Barnett redshirted after suffering a significant injury during his senior year of high school.

"Korrey Davis is a transfer from Massachusetts and a local product," added Rocco. "He has really shown the ability to be a physical inside runner, as well as a speed runner to the edge."
"SirChauncey had a nice freshman year last year," continued Rocco. "He also is a physical runner, who has good downfield vision and balance.

"Chase Barnett is a young man that we are really excited about. Coming out of high school, he suffered a severe ankle injury and we redshirted him last year. He looks to have fully recovered and he brings a good change of pace to our backfield."

"Both Korrey Davis and SirChauncey Holloway have three years of eligibility left and Chase Barnett has four," concluded Rocco. "We should be very deep at this position for quite a while."

Along with Barnett being a newcomer to the position, Liberty could also look for some playing time out of true freshman Ryan Mickens. He is a powerful athlete, who was a four-year letterwinner out of University Christian High School in Ponte Verde Beach, Fla.

"Ryan is a big player that can play both halfback and fullback," added Rocco. "He is definitely athletic and fast enough to carry the ball as the halfback, but he is big enough and physical enough to play fullback."

Running Backs at a Glance
Front Runners
Korrey Davis (R-So., 5-10, 190)
SirChauncey Holloway (So., 5-8, 195)
Chase Barnett (R-Fr., 6-0, 230)
Ryan Mickens (Fr., 6-0, 230)
Jerry Brown (R-Fr., 5-6, 170)
Irwin Coleman (R-Jr., 5-9, 190)
Elliot Dutra (R-Fr., 5-9, 185)
Josh Wells (R-So., 5-9, 190)