Photo by Gerald Castillo
Taylor headlines Bobcats' running back stable
Editor’s Note: Texas State beat writer Nick Castillo will be previewing each position as the Bobcats gear up for the start of training camp on Friday.
Texas State junior running back Anthony D. Taylor will be the lead guy in the backfield for the Bobcats in 2018, head coach Everett Withers said at Sun Belt Media Day.
Taylor led the Bobcats last season with 436 yards and two touchdowns. Alongside Taylor, Texas State has multiple backs returning in sophomores Robert Brown, Jr., and Jaylin Nelson. The Bobcats had Anthony Smith but he’s expected to miss the upcoming season. Withers also said wide receiver Caleb Twyford will see time at running back in 2018.
Withers is excited about Texas State’s running back corps.
“We’ve got a number of guys and depth at running back,” Withers said at Sun Belt Media Day. “Anthony Taylor will be a lead guy there for us. Jaylin Nelson, Caleb Twyford will also play some running back for us this year. So, we’re really, really excited. Robert Brown is another guy that gives us some depth. So, we have four or five running backs we feel comfortable putting in the game. They all played for us last year. Much of those guys, three or four of those guys, were true freshmen and are now sophomores playing for us. So we’re excited there.”
Smith was the second-leading rusher on the team in 2017 with 74 carries for 352 and three touchdowns. Brown was close behind with 305 yards on 77 carries. Nelson only ran the ball 25 times for 98 yards last season. Twyford only carried the ball four times for 10 yards.
Although Texas State didn’t have a great year running the ball in 2017, Withers said improving the running game is something the Bobcats have to do in 2018.
“We’ve got a couple things we’ve got to get done on offense that’s really important,” Withers said. “We’ve got to be able to run the football better. Again, every coach in America is going to stand up and say, ‘You’ve got to run the football better.’ We’ve definitely got to be able to do that better.”
The Bobcats have the pieces to see their running game take a jump in 2018 with Taylor, Smith, Brown, Nelson and Twyford set to take snaps in the backfield.