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Boise State running back update: How Matt Kaiserman's future affects Jay Ajayi and the Bronco backfield

Depending on how far you trust Twitter rumors, the scuttlebutt yesterday that Matt Kaiserman has played his last game due to injury concerns is either totally newsworthy or completely unsubstantiated. Or both I guess. Yay new journalism!

If Kaiserman is gone, that could mean some big changes to the Boise State backfield. How big? I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but Doug Martin, D.J. Harper, and Jay Ajayi in the backfield at the same time. Tell your friends! Let's discuss the topic and the depth chart after the jump.

The Twitter source

Rumored on message boards, the Kaiserman injury report hit Twitter yesterday, looking like this (HT: Jrig):

RB Matt Kaiserman will not be returning to the #BoiseState active roster, due to medical concerns.less than a minute ago via web


Always trust a Blue Elvis.

Kaiserman's injury concerns are well documented. His junior season was cut short by a broken ankle, and he has suffered multiple concussions throughout his playing career. The last of those concussions came in the Las Vegas Bowl.

No official announcement has been made by the Broncos, unless you count the one leaked to random BlogSpot sites like this.

In a world without Matt Kaiserman ...

Let's say that Kaiserman's Boise State career is indeed over. If true, these are the Bronco running backs who remain in play for 2011:

  • Doug Martin
  • D.J. Harper
  • Raphiel Lambert
  • Carlo Audagnotti
  • Drew Wright
  • Jay Ajayi

Keep in mind that RB Malcolm Johnson is not currently with the team due to academics.

How would your running back depth chart look?

Mine goes something like this: Martin > Harper > Lambert > Ajayi.

Yes, I recognize that I have Raphiel Lambert ahead of Parade All-American Jay Ajayi. It is not a typo unless eight months from now it proves to be wrong in which case it is definitely a typo and I blame the OBNUG intern. Still, as proof that I'm not crazy, not too long ago, Lambert was a highly sought after high school running back. He is most certainly capable of being the Jarvis Hodge of this team. If I had to make a depth chart today (and I just did), then Lambert's experience gives him a slight edge over Ajayi.

Don't get me wrong, though. Kaiserman not playing opens the door for Ajayi seeing time as a true freshman. He could beat out Lambert in fall camp and be the team's No. 3. He could move up to No. 2 if D.J. Harper's recovery doesn't go as expected. He could be playing a Jeremy Avery role by midseason. Boise State is not afraid to play a true freshman running back, so why not play the best true freshman running back in Boise State history?

In a world with Matt Kaiserman ...

There's also the possibility that the rumors aren't true, Kaiserman's head is fine, and there's one more warm body in the Bronco backfield this fall. If so, how would that change the depth chart?

Again, one man's (probably wrong) prediction: Martin > Harper > Kaiserman > Lambert > Ajayi.

The future of the Boise State backfield

Here is how the next few years look at the running back position for Boise State:

2011 2012 2013 2014
   Doug Martin  
D.J. Harper                        
   Jay Ajayi  
  Carlo Audagnotti    
  Raphiel Lambert    
  Drew Wright  


Ajayi graduating in 2014 assumes that he does not redshirt this year. Harper graduating in 2012 assumes he will get a medical redshirt and have two years of eligibility remaining. If Malcolm Johnson returns to the team, he could be expected to graduate in 2013 (he was a 2009 redshirt).

Your turn

What does your running back depth chart look like? Do you think Matt Kaiserman's departure opens the door for Jay Ajayi playing this year? Share your thoughts in the comments.