Posted: 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013
By Bill C.
2012: 37 carries, 139 yards (3.8/carry); 1 kick return, 56.0 average
Bill C.: It's easy to underestimate Russell Hansbrough. He came to Mizzou with fellow freshman (and Kansas City native) Morgan Steward, and as we mentioned with the quarterbacks yesterday, when things start out, fans are always going to pay more attention to the local boy. But while Steward redshirted, Hansbrough sneaked onto the third string and carved out a reserve role. His most memorable play wasn't a particularly good one -- he was basically suplexed by an Alabama defender late in the game versus the Tide -- but he kept earning two or three carries per game and showed some serious jets on his lone kickoff return. His numbers were not particularly impressive, but he showed quite a bit of potential. He seems comfortable running between the tackles, which could play nicely with the get-to-the-corner capabilities of Henry Josey and (especially) Marcus Murphy.
And it probably goes without saying that for whatever potential we thought he had, he backed it up by overtaking Murphy as the No. 2 running back in spring ball. We know Murphy's pretty damn good; the coaches are trying to tell us that Hansbrough may be better. That's exciting.
MizzouRugby: Love his potential, hopefully we will be able to recreate the 2010 three- or four-headed monster of a running game this year with Murphy, Josey and Hansbrough.
The Beef: I guess it will be interesting to see if there is any sort of battle for the No. 2 spot between Russell and Marcus Murphy. I was a little surprised to see him here, but every time I have seen him carry the ball, I have been impressed. I think Russell will see some decent touches (especially to start the year in what I think should be an effort to keep Josey healthy and fresh) and hopefully he does nothing but earn more.
countrycal: You can’t get too many of these smaller quick guys, and they fit perfectly in our offensive scheme. The reason large defensive linemen want to pick up a guy like Russell and bodyslam him is because he has already made them miss several times before and they are in a "stomp the mouse" mood. Whether he plays second or third, we know we have lots of depth with what we once called "scatbacks."