The ten thousand man battle for the California Golden Bears running back position is starting to clear up. A backup tailback frontrunner is starting to emerge: Senior Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson, who looks to be the man to beat to complement Isi Sofele as Ron Gould's latest one-two punch in Berkeley.
Deboskie-Johnson has had a few occasions his first three years playing for the Bears to show his talents, seeing only spot action the last two seasons with Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen seeing the bulk of the carries; Sofele eventually overtook him in the rotation last year and is now the projected starter. Deboskie-Johnson has struggled with weight issues his first few seasons and an injury shortened his 2010 campaign, but dropped 15 pounds this offseason and is down to 211 pounds, and is earning the compliments of Jeff Tedford in practice. Most importantly, Gould has credited Deboskie-Johnson's improved pass protection abilities as the big reason he's risen up the depth chart.
Tedford has Deboskie-Johnson as his leader to be the #2 back, with Sofele getting 18-20 carries a game. It's starting to sound like the #2 back could be getting quite a number of carries, which can only mean good things for Covaughn going forward. Either that, or the Cal running back corps could be running a lot deeper than previous seasons.
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