California back Marshawn Lynch is one of our favorite football players
out there right now. Now, you might be wary if you remember back
to last year and our football man-crush on LSU back Justin
Vincent. In reality, both are very similar backs. Big red
flags here, but hey, we're gonna run with this.
Basically, Lynch is everything a successful back should be, fast (well above average speed), a medium frame (5-11,200) to both be speedy yet absorb contact, knows how to run, and has great vision. He had a stunning all-over-the-field 70 yard run against I can't remember who last year that was breathtaking.
Even better for Messr. Lynch, teammate J.J. Arrington is off to the NFL. No more sharing carries.
Look at California's rushing output the last two seasons under Jeff Tedford: 168 yards/game in 2003 (~2352 yards) and 257 yards/game in 2004 (~3084 yards). That means there are many yards to be absorbed by the next capable back. And this back is more than capable. Keep in mind the yardage year-to-year shouldn't drop much now that California has gotten a handle on Jeff Tedford's system. That is why you saw the rise in rushing totals last year (that, and having two NFL backs on the roster).
So if you take the middle of 2400 and 3,000 yards, you have 2,800 potential yards to be gained by Cal's stable of backs. Lynch should eat up most of those. As of right now, it really looks like he'll easily cruise past the 2,000 yard barrier if he remains healthy. Of course I could be wrong, just as I was on Justin Vincent.
As an aside on Vincent, I talked to one of my most trusted football friends a while back and his only explanation was that Vincent had "just lost it, whatever he had, just went away". It certainly appears that way. Call it football's equivalent of the Yips (see: Knoblach, Chuck). Alley Broussard was more than happy to take over and said friend is now just as ga-ga over Broussard as he was over Vincent. I still think Vincent can put things together, since he has such tremendous speed and frame, and went nuts against some decent run defenses towards the end of his freshman season.
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