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2023 Spring Position Preview: Running Backs

Will this unit be among the best in the Big Ten?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Penn State at Utah Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

BSD’s position-by-position previews continue at running back. Can the dynamic duo of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen build off of their stellar debut?

Projected Starters

Nicholas Singleton

Coming into 2022, most of us believed that Singleton would eventually become the starter in the backfield, but I’m not sure if anyone foresaw the impact he would have on the offense. After two years with middling results from their ball-carriers, the freshman from Governor Mifflin led the team with over 1,000 yards and nearly seven yards per rush, highlighted by 179 yards in his first game against Ohio, 124 yards in his road debut at Auburn, and 120 yards against Utah in the Rose Bowl. Singleton’s numbers may have even been more gaudy if it not for his classmate...

Kaytron Allen

The runner affectionately named “Fatman” provided a nice contrast to Singleton’s more home run ability with his hard-nosed, between-the-tackles bruising style. Allen totaled 867 yards and 10 touchdowns, keyed by 111 yards against Central Michigan, three touchdowns against Indiana, and 117 yards against Rutgers. Expect both of these men to split the (Nittany) lion’s share of the carries.

Rotation Guys

Having two capable starters splitting carries may mean that a third running back will not see too much action, but a recent transfer portal acquisition and at least one of two newcomers should provide critical depth.

London Montgomery

The real question with Montgomery is clearly, “Is he fully healthy?” Coming off of his ACL injury in August, it remains to be seen whether he will see significant playing time in relief of Allen and Singleton or not.

Trey Potts

A former member of Minnesota’s running back room should at the very least give Allen and Singleton the opportunity to take a breath. How much time he spends on the field is another question entirely.


Cam Wallace

Montgomery’s classmate may end up seeing playing time as a returner given his near-Journey Brown speed, but he will most likely not see the field in 2023 unless he is inserted on special teams.

Tank Smith

There is nothing that would excite me more than to see Tank on the field more often, but after a 2022 season where he only registered 61 yards on 23 carries, it is doubtful he will get significant playing time.