Most position battles appear to be settled for the Notre Dame football team heading into the 2020 season but the running back position looks to be wide open.
In years past, the running back position was one of strength for the Notre Dame football team. In recent years, Irish fans became accustomed to having a stable of talented backs such as C.J. Prosise, Josh Adams, and Dexter Williams, who shined in the backfield for Notre Dame before taking their talents to the National Football League.
Last season, the Notre Dame football team did not have the typical depth and impact at running back that many fans have grown used to seeing. Jafar Armstrong was expected to be the lead back with Tony Jones Jr. and C’Bo Flemister splitting carries with the shifty Armstrong.
However, Armstrong would suffer a groin/abdomenal injury in the first game of the season against Louisville, causing him to miss a large portion of the season. When he did return, he was not his explosive self and was rendered relatively ineffective for the Irish.
C’Bo Flemister showed flashes of greatness but those flashes were too inconsistent for him to allow him to lay claim to the lion share of the carries for Notre Dame. As a result, Tony Jones Jr. would be the bell cow running back for the Irish in 2019.
Jones Jr. would prove to be a solid rushing option for Notre Dame, rushing 144 times for 857 yards and six touchdowns. While his style wasn’t flashy, it was effective enough to lead the team in rushing yards, help lead Notre Dame to an 11-2 record last season, and earn Jones an unrestricted free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints.
With their leading rusher no longer on the roster, the Notre Dame football team will need to rely on one of a number of returning players or a freshman phenom to step up to assure that the team has a solid running game to balance out their passing attack this season.
With that in mind, here are the running back options for Notre Dame heading into the 2020 season: