When talk turned to the running backs during Justin Wilcox's spring-ball-ending discussion with the media, Chris Brown was the first name Wilcox mentioned. He came out of spring as the clear No. 1 tailback, even though he missed the final three practices with an ankle injury suffered in the Spring Game. He is expected to be healthy enough to participate in summer conditioning and should be 100 percent by the time preseason camp rolls around.
“Chris Brown, noticeable in terms of his maturation,” Wilcox said. “His body looked good. His cuts, he just looked kind of more fluid, and he’s still a big, strong guy, about 230 pounds or so. And I think you saw a little bit at the end of the season, the bowl game, the things he can do. I thought he did a really nice job in spring.”
Marcel Dancy and City College of San Francisco transfer DeShawn Collins are the other backs who are expected to see playing time.
“Dancy and DeShawn, kind of different styles, both guys that can help us, I think,” Wilcox said. “DeShawn got a little bit dinged, but was able to come back and finish this week strong. He can run, he’s got really good speed. I think the more he gets confidence with the offense, we’ll allow him to show up more and more.”
Alex Netherda is the fourth tailback, but he showed the grit and aggressiveness he has demonstrated at every position he has played.