It’s no secret that the Boston College rushing attack was a disaster in 2022. Literally the worst in all of FBS football. But there is a lot of talent in the RB room that struggled to shine through because of how bad the offensive line was last season. BC is going to be sending out a platoon of running backs in 2023 that could turn around the rushing game as quickly as it fell apart if the revamped O-Line proves to work better than it did last year.
The obvious name to watch is redshirt senior Patrick Garwo III. Garwo is entering his fifth season on the Heights and still has a year of COVID eligibility to return in 2024 if he chooses to do so. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Garwo at BC, as he rose up the depth chart to become a 1,000+ yard rusher in 2021 before falling back to Earth in 2022 behind that terrible OL. His 402 rushing yards last season still led the team by a decent margin and you should expect Garwo to take lead rushing duties once again in 2023. BC is lucky to still have him as one of the most reliable players on the field, as he offers a great combination of hard-nosed running at the line of scrimmage and good pass-catching ability.
Alex Broome is the next man up after Garwo and could split even more time than he did last season, possibly taking lead duties away from the veteran. Broome was a 3-star recruit coming out of high school and made an impact in his freshman season last year, rushing for 225 total yards and catching 26 passes for 166 yards. He especially broke out in the second half of the season, posting season highs in catches and rushes once Emmett Morehead had replaced Phil Jurkovec at QB. With another year of development in college and a (hopefully) competent OL in front of him, Broome is the #1 candidate in the backfield to have a breakout season in 2023. He is a versatile threat on all levels of the field and can provide a safety valve for Morehead as he gets attuned to being the full-time starter.
Beyond Garwo and Broome, there is plenty of depth and potential for other guys to rise up the ranks. Redshirt sophomore Xavier Coleman is entering his third season at BC and was the #3 option behind Garwo & Broome last season. Coleman could also be an interesting name to watch in the punt returning game, as the departure of Zay Flowers and Jaelen Gill has opened up an opportunity for someone with Coleman’s quickness to make an impact on special teams. Cam Barfield is another RB that BC used sparingly in 2022, but is a former 3-star recruit and could see more action in his sophomore season.
Jeff Hafley’s staff also brought in transfer RB Kye Robichaux from Western Kentucky, who is a veteran from the G5 and can provide some experienced depth for the position if injuries start to crop up. Robichaux rushed for almost 500 yards and 3 TDs for WKU in 2022. And there’s incoming freshman Datrell Jones, who is a top-10 2023 product out of Massachusetts and was a star track athlete in high school. It seems likely that Jones will get a redshirt in 2023 because of all the other mouths to feed in the RB room, but he is still a name that BC fans should know looking towards the future.
When all is said and done, the offensive line is what will really dictate the success of this group. But with adequate blocking, this is a group of RBs with enough talent and depth to bring BC back to an effective offense on the ground.