Building the All Decade Team: Running Backs

Any Question as to who should be number one?

The Quarterback Question is mostly answered with a week left before the polls close. Right now the order is Willy, Father Freedy, Zach Maynard, and Randall Seckey.

I am going to use another executive order to make James Starks the starter for the All Decade team. His iron grip on the UB Record Books, his local roots, the way he carried himself on and off the field, and his success in the NFL means if I put Starks in the poll I would probably not get four other guys with votes.

If you think someone else should number one on the all decade team please comment below to let me know who and why and I promise to promptly tell you why you're wrong.

I have room on the roster for five running backs, with Starks as the starter that mean the top four backs from this poll make the all decade team.

The Committee backfields of 2009 and 2010, along with some of the earlier backfields of the decade make this a pretty deep field. So I am going to restrict the poll to any back who (1) Was among the top two in carries during any given season (2) had 130 carries over two seasons and (3) ran two seasons during the decade will be considered.

Here are the backs you can choose from:

Marquis Dwarte:

Dwarte was having a rather promising career until he got bit by the injury bug during his sophomore season. Before a Neck Injury in 2001 he was shaping up to be the back to start UB's modern Division one era.

His 2000 season, admittedly during the previous decade, sits at 9th in yards per carry. Twice in an injury shortened 2001 season he rushed for more than a hundred yards.

Year Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2000 129 611 4.7 1 12 81 6.8 0
2001 141 546 3.9 6 16 84 5.3 1
2002 13 49 3.8 0 0 0   0
Career 283 1206 4.3 7 28 165 5.9 1

Aaron Leeper:

Aaron Leeper gave UB Fans the second ray of hope thay had in two years, and just like before it did not pan out. As a red shirt freshman Leeper was often looked at as the only thing on the field worth watching. He came painfully close to breaking a thousand yards.

Leeper put up three one hundred yard games and manged a thee touchdown game against UCF. His 235 attempts were good for third in the UB Record books and his ten touchdowns were the sixth most by a UB running back in any one season.

Then in 2003 he struggled and still managed to put up more than 500, putting him as the 9th more prolific Back in UB History. When his production started to fall and the Bulls were looking thin at defensive backfield off he was moved the sure up the depth.

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2002 235 917 3.9 10
2003 122 522 4.3 2
Career 357 1439 4 12

Dave Dawson:

Dawson picked up where Leeper left off, while not as prolific a scorer his career average of 5.6 yards per carry is second only to UB Legend Willie Evans. He also sites at 10th all time for rushing yards.

During his senior year, 2005, he was moved over to the wide receiver position to make room for Steven King and Chris McDuffie.


Year Att Yds Avg TD
2002 61 362 5.9 2
2003 128 678 5.3 1
2004 59 350 5.9 3
Career 251 1402 5.6 6

Chris McDuffie:

McDuiffie spent 2003 and 2004 splitting time with Steven King. Because of this both he and king have numbers which are slightly below what you might expect from someone you are going to nominate but  165 carries with more than 4YPC while sharing the backfield is impressive.

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2003 63 254 4 1
2004 94 404 4.3 2
2006 8 25 3.1 0
Career 165 683 4.1 3

Steven King:

King never got a chance to be the only back, but for four years he was a necessary and dependable part of the UB running game.

He is tied for 6th all time in touchdown scored. He led, or was tied for the lead, in points scored in 2004, 2005, and 2006

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2003 30 133 4.4 2
2004 94 445 4.7 7
2005 136 532 3.9 3
2006 55 199 3.6 6
Career 315 1309 4.2 18

Jared Patterson:

Patterson, like King, was a constant factor in the UB ground game from 2003 and 2006. He did not have the impact of Patterson but put up respectable career numbers for a role player.

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2003 36 151 4.2 4
2004 83 265 3.2 4
2005 90 374 4.2 2
2006 37 136 3.7 2
Career 246 926 3.8 12

Brandon Thermilus:

Having come in to UB already ailing from an injury that cut his high school career short Thermilus recovered in time to see James Starks take the team over. But for two years, especially the championship run of 2008, you could count on Thermilus for the hard yards.

2009 saw Thermilus have a chance to become the feature back when James Starks injured his shoulder. He got off to a slow start and ended up splitting time with Ike Nduka and Jeffvon Gill. 2010 saw his season cut short by injury.

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2007 23 85 3.7 3
2008 100 454 4.5 7
2009 124 560 4.5 4
2010 27 106 3.9 0
Career 274 1205 4.4 14

Ike Nduka:

Ike Nduka had one run in 2006, for -4 yards against Auburn. Then he fell completely off the radar, he used a red shirt in 2007, never saw the field in 2008 and started deep down on the depth chart in 2009. The Bulls struggled so badly out of the gate that Nduka got his first real shot against central Michigan and ran all over the chips.

That season he had three one hundred yard games and had a three touchdown game against Western Michigan.

He was UB's leading back that year despite a let start and some injuries as the season wore on.

Year Att Yds Avg TD
2006 1 -4 -4 0
2009 96 598 6.2 6
2010 67 235 3.5 1
Career 164 829 5.1 7


So Who do you think should be on the All Decade team?

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