With the departures of running backs Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard, Arizona State will have to prove they are capable of running the ball with unseasoned backs heading into the 2018 season.
Sophomore Eno Benjamin will be the primary ball carrier heading into the 2018 campaign after being the third-string back last season. Sophomore Trelon Smith will more than likely be Benjamin’s backup, however there are four newcomers to the backfield in A.J. Carter, Isaiah Floyd, Brock Sturges, and Demetrious Flowers.
Here’s an in-depth look at each:
Eno Benjamin: After only carrying the ball 23 times for 142 yards and one touchdown, Benjamin will lead this young unit and will be expected to play a pivotal role as the primary back this coming season. Although he had limited in-game reps, Benjamin proved he could catch the ball coming out of the backfield and should be interesting to see how head coach Herm Edwards uses him this season.
“I think obviously Eno is very talented, we saw that a little bit last year so i’m anxious to see him get his shot and his chance to spin,” ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins said at Pac-12 Media Day.
Trelon Smith: Smith is another sophomore with limited experience as he only played in four games last season and was used primarily on special teams returning kickoffs and very sparingly in the running game as he only had one rush for four yards. But with no newcomers at school and a minor injury to Benjamin, Smith was able to get just about every rep in the spring and made a great first impression on the new coaching staff and Wilkins.
“Trelon, man, he is really talented,” Wilkins said. “He is very underrated, someone who if he just puts his head down and continues to work, he’s going to play a huge role in this offense.”
Brock Sturges: Sturges is from Allen, Texas and played his high school ball at the Mecca of high school football, Allen High School. With only 11 total games of high school ball (10 games were his sophomore season) under his belt Sturges managed to wow Arizona State’s recruiting staff as he tallied 1352 total rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in his high school career, 14 of which came when he was a sophomore.
Sturges didn’t play his junior year and only played one game during his senior year and had five carries for 39 yards and three touchdowns.
“He’s not scared to tell you “give me the ball” or tell me his opinion on what ought to happen,” Allen High School offensive coordinator Derek Alford told House of Sparky. “He’s not going to say a whole lot but its always the right one or two things you need to hear.”
Isaiah Floyd: Floyd is a redshirt sophomore transfer from City College of San Francisco. He accumulated 1797 rushing yards along with 21 touchdowns and also added 133 yards, 13 receptions and two touchdowns in 2017 according to ccsfathletics.com.
A.J. Carter: Carter is a freshman from Many, Louisiana. He racked up 3911 rushing yards and 63 total touchdowns (60 rushing) in his two years of varsity experience at Many High School.
Demetrious Flowers: Flowers is another freshman that played at a high school football power house in St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif. He rushed for 1285 yards and 24 total touchdowns (23 rushing) in his three years of varsity experience at St. John Bosco. Flowers played six games his sophomore year, 15 his junior year and three games his senior year.