Last season, the Illinois Fighting Illini offense performed much better under the newly adopted system of offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. The Illini ran for 1,668 yards in 2013 and were anchored by running back Josh Ferguson. Good thing for Illini fans that Ferguson will be back with the Orange & Blue for his senior season in 2014.
There is a lot of time before game one, but also enough information to make some early projections on the depth chart for the 2014-15 Illini Running Backs.
1. Josh Ferguson, 5’10″, 195 lbs., Junior
There’s absolutely no reason why Josh Ferguson shouldn’t be leading the charge this fall at the #1 spot. Ferguson had a career year last season, and he didn’t receive the bulk of the carries until the second half of the season. If Ferguson can stay healthy for Illinois, there is a chance that he could rush for over 1,000 yards in 2014.
2. Donovonn Young, 6’0″, 220 lbs., Senior
Earlier this year, Donovonn Young wouldn’t have been #2 on the RB depth chart. That’s because Young was pondering the thought of transferring away from Illinois for his final season playing college football. However, he did not transfer and will be the #2 RB for the Fighting Illini coming into the 2014 season. This is good news for Illini fans because that means that the Illinois Fighting Illini have two competent running backs for this upcoming football season.
3. Devin Church, 5’8″, 185 lbs., Sophomore
The 2014 season should be a interesting one for Illini sophomore Devin Church. According to Illinois 2014 football roster, Church is listed as a running back as well as a wide receiver. Church saw a limited role last season as he racked up only eight carries and two receptions. However, Church could be used more at the WR position due to what Illinois lost there this past offseason. Most of his rushing might come while he is lined up at the WR spot.
The back up squad: Kendrick Foster and Cameron Tucker
These players round off the depth chart to the 2014 roster. Neither player has played a game in their time with the Orange & Blue (Foster redshirted last season). This season, unless injuries plague the team again or the Illini are in a rout, these players will not likely see time on the field.