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Don't Count Out Brandon Holloway

MSU running back Brandon Holloway is flying under the radar with all of the beefier players at his position, but you shouldn't count him out just yet.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

One of the frequently asked questions heading into fall camp this year is which MSU running back will pull ahead of the others and get the bulk of the carries in Dan Mullen's run-first offense.

The options on the roster to replace Josh Robinson are plenty, and no player has separated theirself up to this point. That makes for good depth and it also makes for a good topic of discussion in the middle of the summer.

Everyone throws out the names of Ashton Shumpert, Aeris Williams, and Dontavian Lee. But often overlooked in that running back discussion is the speedy Brandon Holloway who will certainly have a role in the offense.

He won't be an every down back or anything close to it. He won't get anywhere near the majority of the carries, but Holloway will make his way onto the field when State is looking for a big play or trying to change the pace in the run game. Like it or not, he will have a role in spite of the much larger, powerful backs vying for those snaps.

As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Holloway struggled to hold onto balls in the return game and also had butterfingers when he lined up at wide receiver. His talent and speed was basically going to waste because he was out of place and didn't look comfortable in the limited action that he saw.

The move to running back before last season took his hands out of the equation and allowed him to use his biggest strength: speed. He still has a lot of growing to do into his new position, but he showed flashes of what he can bring to the table with games of 65 yards or more against Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, thanks in part to some big runs.

The threat of those type of runs any time he touches the ball is exactly why Mullen continued to find ways to get him the rock. Yes, I know it wasn't in the most opportune way sometimes. A lot of fans grew restless seeing a 5-8, 160-pound running back try to pound it right up the gut.

As many times as it might not work, the one time it does usually makes up for it. All he needs is one crease to get to the second level and he's off to the races. That homerun threat is exactly why Mullen played Holloway last year, and it's why he will play him again this year.

Shumpert, Williams, and Lee will get all the pub and that's understandable. They will bring the thunder, but as the season approaches, be sure not to forget the lightning.