The official site lists Chris Brown, Storm Woods, Damien Haskins, Tim Cook (Juco), Jaylynn Bailey (never heard of him), Marcus Grieves (never heard of him), Shane Wallen (never heard of him). Then there are the new guys, Taylor Thomas (NQ, going to a CC) and Deltron Sands. Paul Lucas doesn’t appear physical enough to be a Pac-12 RB, so I think he winds up at WR.
The big three are Brown, Woods, and Haskins. Sands is interesting player. I think his 5″8 kept a lot of schools away (when will they learn size doesn’t matter, at least with RBs)?
We all know what these RBs bring to the table, so I don’t need to do a writeup on each one, but a quick synopsis would be:
Chris Brown: Most upside of the RBs. A balanced back with the best speed, fluid runner, a bit of a slasher, etc. We still don’t know for sure what this guy is because Riley never played him, but we do know half the Pac-12 offered him, and in his limited time he’s racked up nice stats.
Storm Woods: He reminds me of Priest Holmes, in that he can rip off big chunks, but it requires a gaping hole to do it. More of a bulky, galloping runner, but he gets the job done. He doesn’t have great raw speed. Better balance and vision than speed. Great leader and personality, and for this reason alone he has to be on the field a lot.
Damien Haskins: He’s gained some size and agility at OSU (spring game compared to his HS film), but he’s still limited. He’s probably in the Yve Bernard mold…slow, good vision, a bit of an undersized bowling ball. Not my type of RB, so I am not high on this guy. The fewer carries the better. Maybe he can carve a role as a goal line back?
Tim Cook: Looks like more of a FB. Maybe a goal line or short yardage back?
Deltron Sands: Shifty, quick, good cuts, good pass catcher. Good work ethic. He is a dark horse, imo. He could jump Haskins or Cook due to his versatility, but OSU would probably be best long-term to redshirt him. I definitely like him more than Haskins.
My guess is Andersen is predictable here and goes with Storm Woods as the 1 and Chris Brown as the 2 and Haskins as the #3, redshirting Sands. He might be better off playing Sands over Haskins, though.
In summary, Woods is a competent runner and great leader with a winning attitude. Chris Brown has more upside. Sands is a dark horse, if he doesn’t redshirt. He can do a bit of everything. Whoever winds up #2 should be more worried about Sands than Haskins or Cook. My guess is Sands redshirts, though. It makes no sense to waste a year with Woods and Brown around.
Update: Tim Cook signing likely seals Sands fate as a redshirt.
Who should start?