Let's face it: Boise State will be loaded next year. The Broncos return all the key pieces on both lines, the linebacking corps, most of the secondary and a heap of wide receivers and tight ends. Just two major positions will be tasked with filling the graduation void, but those two positions just happen to be slightly important. You can't lose an all-timer like Jay Ajayi in the backfield and just move on like nothing happened. Ajayi accounted for a significant portion of the Bronco offensive touches a season ago, and he made defenses pay dearly for that—so moving forward without him is a task unto itself. Thankfully, the Broncos don't need to find a Jay Ajayi in 2015...they can just slap together the rest of the stable Voltron style (or Megazord style, if you're a child of the 90s) and see what we get. Here's a peek:
The so-called "weapon" is the most Ajayi-like back in the Bronco arsenal because of his strong running style and versatility in catch the ball. McNichols was banged up this Spring, but I expect him to be a key component in the Bronco rushing attack and the likely "starter" if such a thing exists in a multi-faceted RB approach.
Demas is your classic "scatback"...not a brute, but slippery and quick. We've already seen what the diminutive Texan can do, and I think he'll add the lightning to McNichols' thunder.
Fields hasn't had the Bronco career many of us expected, but he's a powerful runner and should be good for a few yards and a cloud of dust (or rubber pellets) when the Broncos need a punch near the goal line. Fields is a senior this year and I'm sure wants to go out in grand fashion. Coaches praised his play this Spring, so keep an eye on him.
It's tempting to say this list is ordered like the probable Fall depth chart, but I think that may be doing some of these guys a disservice—the aforementioned guys have the experience edge and the seniority to match, but Young could be the fastest back of the bunch and was the most effective back in the Spring scrimmage (worth mentioning: Fields and McNichols did not play). Young is an absolute home run threat as partially evidenced by him running 22.5 miles per hour on this treadmill. He's the Toyota Prius of the backfield!
Kelsey's not the younger Young, but the older one. This Stanford grad transfer hasn't hit campus yet, but he has a similar game to his little bro and was the Cardinal's second leading rusher a year ago. He'll have just one year to leave his mark, but I think has the versatility and athleticism to give the Broncos plenty of options. Young might also have Kent Riddle licking his chops to get him involved in the return game...he's a burner.
Wolpin's the only walk-on in the group, but has still has one of the better resumés. Over Wolpin's last two prep seasons at Santa Margarita HS (CA), he rushed for right around 3,000 yards and accounted for close to 50 TDs. Wolpin is a compact back that runs hard and could be a real contributor in the run game and on special teams.
That's it. Raymond Sheard will not be joining the Broncos and Charles Bertoli has retired, so these six guys will have to Frankenstein a competent rushing attack in 2015. I think we have more than enough, quite frankly—and it might just be a question of having enough touches to go around. How do you see the depth chart eventually shaking out? Will the 2015 Broncos have better rushing numbers than 2014 sans the Jay Train? Let's discuss...because there isn't a whole lot else going on.