Analysis of the running back position group and its depth

Wow, have things progressed significantly for Arizona Football in recent days? After Spring Ball concluded several weeks ago, there were many lingering questions for the Wildcats heading into the 2024 season, one of those questions being what the running back position will look like.

For those who may be a little lost, here’s a quick recap of what the Wildcats had in 2023 compared to where things concluded at the end of the spring.

That’s a lot of turnover! And note that this list also did not include the losses of Adam Mohammed (transferred to Washington), Jordan Washington (transferred to Washington) and Jacory Croskey-Merritt (reversed commitment to Ole Miss).

Being thin at running back was an understatement! But luckily for us, Arizona Football has received a commitment from former Ole Miss RB Kedrick Reescano!

Now, while it would be ideal for the Cats to get at least one more by 2024, the position group looks much better than it did just a few weeks ago. And heading into next season, here’s how I see the depth chart in order!

Quali Conley (Senior) | 5’10” 210 lbs.

A transfer from San Jose State who followed position coach Alonzo Carter and head coach Brent Brennan to Tucson, Quali certainly brings the most experience to this group.

Fresh off a season in which he rushed for 842 yards (seventh in the Mountain West) and nine rushing touchdowns (sixth in the Mountain West), his production speaks for itself and, given his experience working with Coach Carter and Brennan, it is He will be an immediate plug-and-play and is our number one candidate to take over the Cats’ starting carries heading into 2024.

Rayshon “Speedy” Luke (Junior) | 5’9″ 175 lbs.

One of Arizona’s few returning running backs, Speedy was a player who saw increased action as the season progressed last year, and with his return in 2024, he should help solidify and, more importantly, diversify this group.

Blame his limited playing time in 2022 and 2023 on the Wildcats’ depth, or Speedy not being an every-down back; However, he is a skilled and athletic runner who can make good things happen when you put the ball in his hands.

With some familiarity with ‘Zo’s’ trainer, I see a bigger role for Speedy in 2024, and since he’s already going through the spring, he’s my #2 candidate heading into the season.

Kedrick Reescano (RS Freshman) | 6′ 215 lbs.

Kedrick, a talented and skilled running back who comes from the class of 2023, spent one season at Ole Miss before entering the transfer portal. Luckily for us, Reescano will get a change of scenery when he joins the Wildcats just before the 2024 season.

While we expect him to have a big role for the Cats this season, we understand that this is a kid who hasn’t worked with the team yet and will have to adjust a bit before finding his groove.

Overall, the talent, size, and athleticism are there, and we expect big things from Kedrick, but for now, he’s ranked No. 3 on the depth chart.

Brandon Johnson (RS Freshman) | 5’9” 190 lbs.

Brandon, a junior who redshirted last season, was a talented running back coming out of Highland High School in Southern California in the class of 2022.

To me, he’s a little lower on the depth chart largely due to the experience and talent he has in front of him. This is in no way a knock on Brandon, but rather I see Arizona leaning more on his experience to start the year.

I think he’ll get some playing time this season and with an injury you never know what can happen, but right now he’s #4 on my depth chart.

Overall, I think Arizona needs to add at least one more running back by 2024; However, the position group looks much better than it did a couple of weeks ago, and I can breathe a little easier heading into the season!

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