Kansas Football 2013 Positional Previews: Halfback

US PRESSWIRE

Previewing the running back position for Kansas in 2013

If there was one thing the Jayhawks were good at in 2012 it was running the football.  Tony Pierson, James Sims and Taylor Cox provided a solid three man punch out of the backfield despite a fairly incompetent offensive attack in all other areas.  This year there are a few changes at the position but all of those are expected to be positives for the team and the offense heading into 2013.  This is going to be a huge point of emphasis once again for Charlie Weis.  Everyone hopes the passing game can become a complimentary or supporting piece, but as Weis said himself, he'd be stupid not to use the weapons at his disposal in the running game.

Starter

James Sims - 6' 200, Sr

Sims was one of the last Mangino recruits.  It's actually been a great story to watch unfold.  First Turner Gill pulled Brandon Bourbon away from Stanford and no one would stop talking about the four star talent from Missouri.  What did James Sims do?  He earned minutes as a freshman.  The following year it was Darrian Miller.  Granted Miller is very talented and he has and will push Sims for minutes, but Sims responded with a patient, savvy running style that helps hide some of his perceived lack of explosiveness.  When Weis came on board Sims was hit with a suspension.  That turned out to be a huge missed opportunity because Sims came back from suspension and did as well as any back in the league during Big 12 play.  This year Sims is it, without question Charlie Weis and this team see his value as a player and Sims continues to put in the work to be one of the best running backs at Kansas in sometime.  He's a fun player to watch and he's worked his way to the point of having an explosive burst to go along with the rest of the package.

Option 1B

Darrian Miller - 5'10" 185, Soph

Miller's first trip to Kansas ended poorly.  After a very promising freshman season Weis and Miller parted ways in what appeared to be an ugly breakup.  Miller spent some time at Butler, appears to have done some maturing, and now he finds himself back in the crimson and blue.  That's a good thing and a potentially great story.  Miller was probably the most talented playmaker in the backfield when he was a freshman.  Tony Pierson could make an argument when it comes to big play ability, but Miller is shift, quick and surprisingly powerful.  He's going to push for starter minutes right alongside Sims.  The best part of all this is that Pierson still exists as an option, but he's been moved from the halfback role because the talent level is through the roof.  It's a better fit for everyone.

Taylor Cox - 5'11" 212, Sr

Not to write off Cox as an option, but he'll need to make every rep count because Miller and Sims are going to be hard to keep off the field.  Cox was serviceable during Sims suspension, but by the end of the year Sims was clearly the guy.  That said, players like Cox are important.  When you can look at option 1A and 1B and still have a guy sitting at option B that is capable, you have a position group that is closer to where you want the whole team to be.

The Rest

Ed Fink - 6'2" 235, Jr

Interesting to see Fink listed as a halfback this year.  I wouldn't expect we'll see much of him on Saturday's.

Preston Randall - 6'1 195, RsFr

Walk on from the Lawrence area.

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