Over the past month, Air Force figured out it has three tailbacks who deserve a major role in the offense.
Wes Cobb entered camp as the starting tailback, but senior Cody Getz and sophomore Jon Lee pushed him over the few weeks that followed. When Air Force released its depth chart this week, it listed Cobb, Getz and Lee as co-starters. They all earned that recognition based on their performance in practice.
“They all have some strengths, they’ve all had some times in August where they did some good stuff,” coach Troy Calhoun said. “They all can make contributions, and frankly we’re going to need all three of them to make contributions during the season.”
While the Falcons relied heavily on Asher Clark to handle most of the carries at tailback the past four years, a committee of tailbacks makes sense this year.
Cobb is a solid all-around player who can wear down a defense. Getz is the home-run threat who has transformed into a good inside runner and was one of the Falcons’ best players in August. Lee is an intriguing talent who has the look of a future star but needs to become more assignment sound to carve out a bigger role.
“Cody is definitely a little more speedier back than Jon or I, and Jon has the good combination of speed and power, and I feel I’m a powerful guy coming from the fullback position,” Cobb said. “As last year was me and Mike (DeWitt) as a two-headed monster at fullback, it could possibly be a three-headed monster at tailback, especially with the way this offense rolls.”
“We all realize with the offense we run, and the tempo we run, we need as many tailbacks as possible,” Getz said.
Getz seems to be positioned for the biggest role, at least to start the season. By the end of camp, Cobb had worked some practices at fullback and Calhoun said he could be used at either position. Lee still has to prove he can handle more of a workload.
Meanwhile, after a good performance in a scrimmage Aug. 11, Getz spent most of the rest of camp as the team’s top tailback.
“I feel like I had a pretty good camp,” Getz said.
Even if Getz gets the first carry of the season, at a listed 175 pounds he’s unlikely to be asked to carry a majority of the load. There should be plenty of carries and yards to go around in what has become one of the most productive positions in Air Force’s offense. Calhoun said he could envision a scenario in which all three get significant carries in games.
“If we can all three stay fresh through the whole game, we’re a lot better attack than just with one or two people,” Getz said.
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