Alabama football lacks depth at the running back position for the first time since 2008.
It returns junior Derrick Henry and senior Kenyan Drake, but very little is to be desired aside from them. Freshman running back Bo Scarbrough was having a productive spring, until a knee injury occurred in Alabama’s second scrimmage game back in March.
The timetable for his return is set between mid-late September.
Henry and Drake both have size and athletic abilities, but who will emerge as the third option in the Crimson Tide’s rotation? Redshirt freshman and Calera, Ala., native Ronnie Clark has an opportunity. He enrolled at Alabama in 2014, spending time at running back and safety.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Clark redshirted after hurting his knee (Achilles) in summer camp last year. He came in as a four-star prospect and the No.3 athlete nationally by Rivals.com.
ESPN listed Clark as the No.7 athlete and No.6 player in the state of Alabama.
Clark played both quarterback and safety at Calera High School as a senior in 2013.
He accounted for more than 2,500 yards with 35 touchdowns. He totaled 76 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Clark saw action at running back as a sophomore 2011, totaling 651 yards and five touchdowns on 43 carries.
Clark showed diversity as a pass catcher in Alabama’s spring game, talling 40 yards on seven receptions for the Crimson Team. He also led the group in rushing with five carries for 12 yards. A healthy Clark gives Alabama’s a third option, until Scarbrough returns.
True freshman and five-star recruit Damien Harris has a lot of upside, but he has to absorb the system quickly.
Adequate quarterback play is imperative for Alabama’s chances of winning a Southeastern Conference championship, however, it must continue to maintain balance on offense.
When healthy, Clark is a tough, hard-nosed back that excels at gaining yards after contact.