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Running Back Depth on Display with Cavaliers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Running Back Depth on Display with Cavaliers

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The UVA football team has two more spring practices before the Orange-Blue spring game Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium.

One of the deepest positions right now for the Cavaliers is running back. The top four backs are all back from last season and healthy this spring.

Rising senior captain Perry Jones led the group in 2011, rushing for 915 yards and five touchdowns while starting every game.

Jones averaged five yards a carry and 70 yards a game. He also finished second on the team in catches with 48 for over 500 yards.

Lazor said, "Our running backs caught a lot of passes last year. You see them really working to play fast on the perimeter. When they release from the backfield or if they line up somewhere else, I think they're doing a great job playing fast."

In his redshirt freshman season, Kevin Parks led all playmakers with nine touchdowns and gained over 700 yards on the ground. Parks averaged almost 60 yards a game and almost five yards a carry.

As a true freshman, Clifton Richardson gained over 350 yards rushing and averaged over five yards a carry.

Fellow rising sophomore Khalek Shepard also played in every game in 2011, rounding out a deep backfield.

Parks said, "We're a brotherhood in that room right there. We all compete and try to push each and every one of us. We try to get better each and every day in each and every way."

UVA starting quarterback Michael Rocco said, "It's a big confidence boost knowing that I have all those guys in the backfield, and that they're great receivers out of the backfield too. It gives us an extra weapon out of the backfield. It just adds an extra dimension to the offense."

Lazor said, "I think they're doing a great job playing fast. To me, that's as solid a group of four guys. I feel really good about all four of them, and I know all four of those running backs are going to help us this year."

Virginia hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Alvin Peerman in 2004, but the 'Hoos did run for over 2,000 yards as a team in 2011.

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