Behr: Running back position up for grabs
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Football season will be here before we know it.
Appalachian State plays its final season in the Southern Conference this year with many more strengths than weaknesses. Most positions -- especially wide receiver -- are as deep as they've ever been.
Most of those All-American accolades have been given to the receivers, mostly Sean Price and Tony Washington.
Price, who was third in the Jerry Rice Award (given to the top freshman) shows the most potential of any Mountaineers who can make the switch from the SoCon to the Sun Belt to the NFL.
Price caught 81 passes for 1,196 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He dropped a few passes, but made up for that with his big-play capabilities.
He's joined by rising seniors Washington (39 catches, 472 yards), Andrew Peacock (79 catches, 795 yards, eight touchdowns), and rising sophomore Malachi Jones (32 catches, 370 yards, two TDs).
Returning senior quarterback Jamal Jackson doesn't seem to need a running game.
Except he does.
The running back position is wide open, especially since last year's starter, Steven Miller, is with the Detroit Lions and Tysean Holloway transferred to Florida A&M.
Holloway, who redshirted in 2012, looked ready to compete for a starting job before leaving.
Ricky Fergerson is the leading candidate for a starting position. Fergerson had five carries for six yards in 2012.
Fergerson also caught two passes for four yards.
Washington had more work, eight carries for 71 yards, on reverses.
This is a position begging to be claimed. Eight players are listed as running backs on the roster that is on appstate.com. One player, rising redshirt freshman Paul Magloire, is a converted quarterback.
Eric Davidson, a rising sophomore transfer from Utah, had a decent spring practice. He did not carry the ball in two seasons with the Utes.
Veteran Mountaineer Michael Frazier, a fullback last year, was switched back to inside linebacker.
All-time leading rusher Kevin Richardson was once a walk-on who grabbed the running back position in 2005 and rewrote the ASU rushing record book.