The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a bit of a problem at running back for the 2019 season. Since at least 2015, the Irish had a “home run threat” in the backfield. C.J. Prosise, Josh Adams, and Dexter Williams consistently provided Notre Dame with speed and the ability to strike from any distance while running the football.
That doesn’t appear to be the case in 2019. While Jafar Armstrong possesses very good speed, he has still lacked that “burst” we saw from the other three backs I mentioned. Armstrong made the switch to running back from wide receiver just like C.J. Prosise did, and despite appearing to not be as electric as Prosise — Jafar runs well and is in line to be the starter in game 1.
It looks like the Irish might be pulling out of the same bag again this season. I overlooked a little nugget from Tim O’Malley on Irish Illustrated published the other day:
Former prep quarterback/athlete Kendall Abdur-Rahman is poised to join this summer and is expected to begin as a running back.
Abdur-Rahman has been widely considered to be destined to play wide receiver, but as we have seen before... Notre Dame has no problem trying these type of athletes at running back as well — kind of like Avery Davis.
It’s still a long way until fall camp, so I’d be willing to bet that nothing is definite as the entire roster of running backs will be available this spring (freshman Kyren Williams included). Anything can still happen. KeiVarae Russell was a running back in high school that was recruited to play receiver in the slot. He was moved to cornerback in fall camp and ended up being a starter on the 2012 team.
At the very least, an athlete like Abdur-Rahman gives you options moving forward. The Irish just need to know what options they have to offer him and the team.