April 25, 2007

Spring Review: RB

Heading into spring ball, it appeared that one of Arizona State's deepest and most talented position groups was running back, with the team set to return all five of its top players from last season, when it finished second in the Pac-10 in rushing, at 169.7 yards per game.

Rising senior Ryan Torain was a monster performer in his first season, carrying the football 223 times for 1,229 yards and seven touchdowns.

It was the first time an ASU running back had gone over the 1,000 yard mark in a season since Delvon Flowers in 2001 and the first time in over 30 years that a Sun Devil carried the ball for more than 1,200 yards, when Freddie Williams had 1,427 yards in 1975.

Expectations, then, were understandably high for the 6-foot, 216 pound Kansas-native heading into spring ball.

In most of the team's weekday practices, Torain looked like one of the team's most talented players -- because he clearly is -- but certainly not like what one would envision from someone who is projected as top five NFL running back prospect in the class.

But it's on Saturdays, when the spotlight is on, that you really get a full sense of what Torain is capable of. This is what you would call a "gamer" type of player.

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