USC Gamecocks Football

Bobby Bentley: Rico Dowdle a ‘wildcard’ in running back room

The South Carolina running back group Bobby Bentley inherited is short on production and experience, and needs a few guys to step up.

Most notably, it needs junior David Williams to continue to improve after averaging 3.5 yards a carry and freshman A.J. Turner to provide a spark after a redshirt season.

Bentley also said he’s looking forward to adding incoming freshman tailback Rico Dowdle into the fold.

“I’m excited about him. I think he brings something a little bit different to the table,” Bentley said. “He’s a combo between A.J. Turner and David Williams.”

The 5-foot-11, 208-pound Dowdle stood out on film because of the explosive way he ran. Leading A.C. Reynolds High in Asheville, N.C., to an 11-2 record, he ran for 2,545 yards and 51 touchdowns and played well in the Shrine Bowl.

The biggest obstacle to his college transition might be a position change. In high school, Dowdle played mostly quarterback, and while he admittedly played the position like a tailback, there are some finer points he’ll have to pick up – and that makes him a bit of an unknown.

“He’s got a little bit of size, a little bit of speed,” Bentley said. “I think he’s the wildcard in the whole deal.”

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