Training Camp Preview: The running backs

Today, GoldandBlack.com continues its in-depth, position-by-position look at the 2006 Boilermaker football team heading into training camp. The Boilers are scheduled to report to campus for preseason practice on Aug. 6.
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With valuable fifth-year seniors — Jerod Void and Brandon Jones — gone, life goes on for Purdue at running back, and the Boilermakers may not miss a beat. They appear just as deep at the position this year as they have been in any recent season, surprisingly.

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Key Players
Kory Sheets: Experience may have been one of the final pieces of the puzzle for a running back that might be the most talented Purdue's had in years.
Sheets is by no means a finished product, but he has the potential to be a great player. As the Boilermakers' No. 1 back, he'll get more opportunities to show it.
Impact Newcomers
Jaycen Taylor: A mid-year junior college transfer, Taylor exceeded all expectations in the spring, proving to be a starter-caliber player who can do a lot of different things for Purdue's offense.
Look for the speedy slasher to play in a variety of different roles.
Anthony Heygood: He's not a newcomer per se, but Purdue's 2005 fullback will debut as a true running back in '06. He's Purdue's biggest, most physical back and seems to have maintained his ball-carrying skills through a year of banging helmets with opposing linebackers.
He'll get his share of carries, too.
Frank Halliburton: The converted linebacker took over at fullback in the spring and showed he might be the most talented fullback Purdue's had under Tiller, in a variety of ways.
X Factor
Dario Camacho: The landscape around him has changed, but the junior college transfer was brought in to potentially play right away, and though the situation is far less dire as it was in the winter, he'll still get the chance to show he can.
Best Competition: The whole position might be a free-for-all. Sheets is the starter, but to hold off Taylor and Heygood, he better bring his A game.
The Roster Rundown
• Chris Ayers — 5-8, 188, Jr.
• Dario Camacho — 5-10, 205, Jr.
• Frank Halliburton (FB) — 6-3, 245, R-Fr.
• Anthony Heygood — 6-2, 221, So.
• Dray Mason — 5-10, 187, R-Fr.
• Kory Sheets — 6-0, 199, So.
• Jaycen Taylor — 5-10, 174, So.
• Joe Williams — 5-8, 204, Jr.
Previous Position Previews:
The quarterbacks
The wide receivers
The linebackers
The defensive tackles
The defensive ends
The safeties
The cornerbacks
For the best preseason Purdue football coverage available anywhere, sign up for GoldandBlack.com's Ultimate Ticket .
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