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TCU Horned Frogs Position Preview: Running Backs

Who will fill the big shoes Aaron Green left behind?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Green began his collegiate career in Lincoln, Nebraska, a Cornhusker, but he soon transferred to TCU. He finished his career the lone-standing member of TCU's recent Big Three, literally helping carry TCU to an Alamo Bowl victory in his hometown of San Antonio.

He finished is TCU career with 2,426 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. In 2015 alone he had 1,272 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Now, TCU has to replace that production while also breaking in a new quarterback. Mind you, Trevone Boykin was the second-leading rusher for the Frogs in 2015, which makes this running back question that much more pertinent. So, who will step in and fill the big shoes Aaron Green left behind? After Shaun Nixon was ruled out for the year with an injury, there are still five candidates remaining, a testament to the intentional depth this coaching staff has built up at the position.

Kyle Hicks

2015 Stats: 55 carries, 262 yards, 3 touchdowns

Kyle Hicks will most likely have the first shot at taking the majority of the carries. He's a more versatile back than either Trevorris Johnson or Derrick Green, with better top end speed, and cutting ability. However, Hicks still has the strength to break through tackles. Here's a prime example of his running ability:

He hits the hole quickly, with a good cut off the line. Then, he breaks through an arm tackle and beats four Tech defenders to the endzone. That's the kind of ability TCU fans have hoped to see from him since he flipped his commitment from Texas to TCU in 2013.

Now the question is, can he do it for an entire season?

Trevorris Johnson

2015 Stats: 43 carries, 262 yards, 0 touchdowns

There's at least one member of the Frogs O' War staff who wants Trevorris Johnson to get the damn ball. It's not a bad play, by any means. Johnson has the brute strength to turn defenders into dust, but he also has a bit of quickness and good footwork. The issue that Johnson encounters, though, is two-fold. First, he tends to try and rely too heavily on speed at times, rather than being the back he is built to be.

Second, when Johnson does embrace the type of back he is, he can get carried away. Johnson is gaining a bit of a reputation for putting the ball on the ground, but he's not just coughing the ball up because of a light grip. Instead, he's having the ball ripped loose as he fights for every extra yard he can possibly get. At some point a balance needs to be found between gaining yardage and holding on to the ball. If he can do that, he'll be a significant player in the running game.

Derrick Green

2015 Stats (with Michigan): 47 carries, 147 yards, 2 touchdowns

Derrick Green made his way to Michigan as the No. 1 running back in the 2013 recruiting class. He left Michigan having not fulfilled the expectations he encountered while wearing the Maize and Blue. However, he should be a contributor to this offense, at least at the level he was for Michigan in 2015. This may be more out of necessity than anything else, but it's nice to have him in the backfield as a depth guy. And who knows, maybe TCU is the change of scenery he needs to finally discover that next-level ability.

Sewo Olonilua

2015 Stats: N/A

Sewo is a dark horse candidate to be a big factor in the TCU backfield in 2016. The kid is an absolute monster, and has the size, speed, and strength to be the kind of player other teams have to specially prep to play against. Who knows if he becomes that in 2016, or if that doesn't happen for a season or two. When it does though, this kid will be special.

Darius Anderson

2015 Stats: N/A

Darius Anderson was an incredibly sought after running back, receiving offers from Alabama, Texas A&M, and Texas along the way prior to committing to TCU. Anderson has an incredible skill set, that pairs his good size with fantastic speed and cutting ability. With Nixon out, Anderson is yet another option to step in and get some touches as the Frogs feel out who their best assets are at the position.