On most football teams across America, offenses generally use only one or two main running backs. This is not the case for the Valdosta State Blazers.
In their season opening loss to Newberry College, the Blazers featured four running backs, David Arnold, Ronnye Nelson, Derrick Harris and Michael Brown. The four combined to rush for only 88 yards, while Newberry featured only two main backs who combined for 112 yards rushing.
The use of the multiple running back style system is not unusual for the Blazers. Last season, the Blazers used three main running backs, two of whom are Ronnye Nelson and Michael Brown, who combined for 119 rushes for 768 yards and three touchdowns last season. On Saturday, the Blazers leading rusher was not Ronnye Nelson or Michael Brown. It was David Arnold, who is in his first season with the Blazers after spending a year at Georgia Southern University.
Nelson believes that using four running backs this season will benefit the team and believes it will pay off for the Blazers this season because teams will have to prepare for more than one running style.
“We all bring something different to the table,” said Nelson. “Me and Derrick (Harris) are both kind of similar in that we both are good receiving backs and athletes, and David (Arnold) and Michael (Brown) are more your normal running backs.” Nelson also added that it is never a bad thing when a team can get fresh legs into a game and give other players a rest.