running backs – Press Enterprise

running backs – Press Enterprise

UCLA has to replace running back Joshua Kelley, who went from walk-on transfer to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and is in the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers.

But there are plenty of places to turn, and the Bruins’ wealth of backs could pay more dividends than relying heavily on any particular one.

However, the Bruins do have a solid redshirt senior penciled in with Demetric Felton, a receiver turned running back who had a solid season in a back-up role in 2019. Felton set a Bruins record for receptions from a running back with 55, and expect his dual-threat role to continue.

Here’s a breakdown of where UCLA stands at running back going into Saturday’s 4 p.m. season opener at Colorado:

Key returnees: Demetric Felton (R-Sr.);  Martell Irby (Jr.), Kazmeir Allen (R-So.), Keegan Jones (R-Fr.), Christian Grubb (R-Fr.), Cole Kinder (R-Jr.)

Key losses: Joshua Kelley (Sr.)

Newcomers: Brittain Brown (grad transfer), Brian Kowall (Fr.)

Biggest unanswered question: Can you replace Kelley, who last season rushed for 1,060 yards and 12 touchdowns to go with 11 catches for 240 yards? The Bruins expect the bulk of it will come from Felton, who switched to running back last year and had 331 yards rushing and 55 receptions for 594 yards. Brown, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound Duke grad transfer, is expected to be the thunder to Felton’s lightning. How they complement each other and share the load will go a long way.