Position breakdown: Running back

Each day for the next week NittanyNation will take a look at a different position and break it down. Today it's running backs.

Silas Redd's departure to USC hurt Penn State more than any other transfer for a reason. Outside of Wisconsin's Montee Ball, he was the best in the Big Ten.

Tailback is now a wildcard for Penn State, but sophomore Bill Belton already has coaches and teammates raving. He's no Redd, but he's a welcome addition with a lot of upside.

Ditto for Akeel Lynch, a true freshman with great vision. Curtis Dukes has stayed quiet but should still be utilized near the goal-line along with Michael Zordich.

Even though it's grown a little weaker, this group still has a lot of strengths.


• Belton played at wideout last season, and his hands out of the backfield should be second to none.

• Depth here should keep the tailbacks fresh throughout the season.

• Great 1-2 punch of speed (Lynch, Belton) and power (Dukes, Zordich).


• New offensive line might take a few weeks to gel.

• Redd transferred.

• Can Belton's body handle 20-25 carries a game?