Virginia Tech goes into the 2006 season without Cedric Humes and Mike Imoh in
the backfield. Humes is off to the NFL, and Imoh was a solid back when healthy,
but the 2006 group of running backs has a chance to be better if they can stay
free of the injury bug. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been easy. The good news is
that the Hokies still have a couple of weeks to get healthy. Here’s what the
backfield will look like this fall.
Branden Ore, 5-11, 204, r-So.
Ore resembles Lee Suggs in stature and running style. It appears that he may
also resemble him by his production on the field. Ore began last season as the
#3 running back, but thanks to injuries to Humes and Imoh, he got a lot of
playing time. He finished with 109 carries for 647 yards and six touchdowns. His
5.9 yards per carry average was top among players in the ACC with 100 or more
Ore missed spring practice while rehabilitating an injured shoulder in his
hometown of Chesapeake, but all indications are that he is back to 100% this
August and is poised to have a big year. Ore has a great combination of vision,
agility and breakaway speed. Unless the offensive line totally falls on its
face, he should have a big year.
Bell is a power running back who is capable of punishing defenses when he is
100% healthy. Unfortunately, thanks to a severe knee injury suffered in high
school, it doesn’t appear that Bell will ever realize his full potential. That’s
a shame, because he could have been a great runner. However he can still be a
very good one, especially used in combination with Ore.
Bell’s knee doesn’t have the stamina to take a pounding day in and day
out, which is one reason why he was held out of last Saturday’s scrimmage. But
on days his knee is feeling good, he is very hard to handle. He had
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