This thread is a call for purely subjective conjecture on the part of those astute Hogs football followers among us; - - - journalists and knowledgeable fans alike.

Going into late August amid final preparations for the upcoming football season, how do you truly believe that the RB depth chart will realistically read - published OR UNPUBLISHED?

Will T.J. Hammonds be returned to a full-time or part-time RB role, splitting time at slot and special teams? Will Maleek Williams now be handed a heavier duty regimen? Will Juan Day see more field time? Will Chase Hayden show sufficient immediate blue chip chops to work right into the rotation immediately, - - - or will he be red-shirted come hell or high water and be obliged to bide his time for a year before seeing on-field action?

I encourage your best guesstimates, if you please. I’m very curious as to how the new RB alignment is going to play out.

My thanks to any and all who might care to participate.

I see Devwah with Maleek or TJ as number two. Chase has playmaking ability so I wouldn’t discount him.

Juan had his best spring so he has a chance too.

Thanks, Richard.

Devwah will start and has a chance to be special.

Maleek will be a solid number two.

TJ will be a speciality back and will lead the team in all purpose yards.

Hayden will most likely redshirt.

It’s hard to say before Chase Hayden steps foot on campus, but I would tend to agree that Devwah will get the vast majority of carries with T.J. Hammonds as the main backup and Maleek behind him. Hammonds will have some special packages worked in for him, as in running the WildHog some and then being used mostly on third downs. It’s not the running that concerns me from these guys; it’s their ability to pass protect especially on early downs.

im sure Whaley will be the bellcow and could have a 1500yd+ season, much like Collins his last year. he seems to be a rare combination of size and speed, meaning he could be special if the O-line is improved. i look for Maleek to be the #2 guy and the hammer on 3rd and short/goal line carries. when Bielema was at WI he had good success with similar backs to Maleek. Hammonds is the wildcard, he’s the type who can get 100yds on 5 touches, whether it b carries, screens, draws. i dont know alot about Hayden other than he is a tremendous athlete, so i assume he’s more like Hammonds and could offer a change of pace.

Insightful responses, one and all. Here’s hoping that the injury bug doesn’t take a major chomp out of the Hogs’ hides come September. It is an enviable luxury to be able to put into games those who have distinguished themselves in physical and mental preparedness, - - - and not be forced to to rely on those who are not fully prepared to shoulder the unexpected sudden load with seasoned maturity and widespread confidence.

Not sure after Whaley but the cupboard has some talent on the shelve however mostly inexperienced. Would not be surprised to see Hammond as the #2 and Maleek #3 just because of the experience and nothing else. WPS

I’m not dissing Maleek. I’m just saying T.J. has a has more experience in Eno’s offense and has to be in the mix. Maleek is a very mature kid for his age and it wouldn’t shock me to see him take the most snaps at No. 2.

Thanks to one and all for your knowledgeable contributions.

Just out of simple curiosity, - - - if (God forbid) a couple of the frontrunner RBs should happen to be suddenly unavailable - for whatever reason(s) - to whom do you think the coaching contingent might turn to bolster a sudden lack of depth at RB? What do you presume to be the least number of RBs essential to maintaining competitive readiness in the position as a whole?

Geeze you focus waaaay tol much on our running back corp being decimated by injury. I propose ala Houston Nutt the 2017 starting running back will be recruited from the intramural field.

Please note; my question stipulated “for whatever reason(s)” - - and did not limit the causation scenario solely to injury. Injury surely has a way of rearing its ugly head; but there are other complications which sometimes come into play. Academic troubles, family troubles, personal troubles, troubles with the law, etc., etc. all have been known to take a toll on player availability. For a program to pull an “ostrich” routine - i.e. burying heads in the ground and endlessly repeating the mantra “Nothing bad is gonna happen; nothing bad is gonna happen” does nothing to prepare for contingencies in worst cases scenarios. My question addresses the issue of that “worst case scenario”. This thread focuses upon the RB position due to the recent loss of Rawleigh Williams. The RB position is NOT my only concern - or my only interest; but this recent development HAS focused attention upon the RB position. I have no axe to grind here. I’m simply expressing idle - but very real - curiosity over the likely candidates who might be slated to step into a backup role should the need arise. I really don’t think that’s too far-fetched a proposition.

I completely understand your position however i choose to look at the positive and not the “pie in the sky” negative. RWIII is gone and that is a known fact.; your original question dealt with that reality. This deals with negative “what if?” In that spirit I responded with hyperbole.

I regret that you perceive my follow-up question as a negative. It was not tendered as such. I’m an old school boy scout, and I fervently believe in “being prepared” for unexpected eventualities - - and not waiting until unanticipated circumstances come to pass, and then sitting forlornly with my face in my hands mumbling, "What am I going to do; - - what am I going to do?’ Preemptive planning trumps belated reactionary kneejerk responses every time. This truism is no less applicable to projected contingency backup roles on sports teams. When it comes to backup planning, it’s far better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it.

I too am an old school boy scout (Eagle Class of '83) and in that spirit I will acquiesce and agree to disagree.

This issue is apparently simply a matter of somewhat differing perspectives. If I should happen to decide to go fishing in order to procure three fresh fish for my supper, I’m going to take more than three minnows along with me on the outing. I would not AT ALL care to find myself in the position - 15 minutes into fishing - wherein I was out of bait - and with no fish for supper - and be thus obliged to go home and settle for a bologna sandwich.

But - - admittedly - - that’s just me. Others may feel differently about preplanning and preparation for contingencies. That’s their prerogative.