Double K’s Classroom: The crowded San Francisco 49ers backfield…

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!!

                                                                                The football season is still months away but I can’t tell you how often I hear people talking about their favorite teams. My personal favorite team is the San Francisco 49ers!!! Let me tell you even with the losses in the big games it is good to be a 49ers fan right now. The team made a lot of good moves and brought in a lot of players who have the potential to make a instant impact like DB/S Jimmy Ward. But today that is not my focus; today my focus is on the stable of running backs that sit in the 49ers offensive backfield. I am going to give you my opinions on every back that sits on the current projected starting depth chart for the upcoming season. Let’s start at the back of this long line….


#4 RB LaMichael James (5’9”/195lbs, 24yo, Oregon University, 3yrs pro): This particular back has a very cloudy future when it comes to the 49ers. James has been a great team player considering he has been bottom of the totem pole for most of his career with the 49ers. Most of the 3 seasons he has spent with the team he has seen action mainly as a special teams player and returner. This is a role that he will be expected to complete again this year. I done see him breaking the top 3 and seeing much time on the field as a returner and if he continues to struggle there he may lose that job to rookie wide out and return specialist Bruce Ellington out of South Carolina. This could be James last season with the 49ers so he will have to put his best foot forward so to speak so that any potential teams scouting him can take a good look at what he has to offer…


#3 RB Kendall Hunter (5’7”/199lbs, 25yo, Oklahoma St, 4yrs pro): Hunter has been one of those backs that has played well over his draft position. I believe the 49ers picked him up in the 2nd or 3rd round and he has proven to be clutch in the Red Zone. He has also proven to be a viable backup when Frank has needed rest or has needed to take some plays off. In his 4 years with the team I think that Kendall Hunter has earned the right to remain Frank Gore’s immediate backup and though he is #3 on this particular depth chart. I expect him to take the bulk of the snaps that starter Frank Gore doesn’t get, unless Hyde just out performs him in the preseason…


#2 RB Carlos Hyde (6’0”/235lbs, 22yo, Ohio State, Rookie): Hyde is sort of the wild card of this bunch mainly because he is the exact style of back that Frank Gore is. The main difference between the two is that Hyde is a slight bit bigger than Gore is. With a six foot 200 pound frame Hyde can take a lot more punishment; he is a downhill runner who looks to find his notch late in games when Gore needs rest and he can take advantage of tired defenses which he can just bowl over. I don’t expect him to see a lot of carries early in this season but as time goes on this kid has the skill and the size to supplant another rookie on this roster looking to take over the starting position once it is relinquished via Gore retirement (because personally I think that’s the only reason the starting position will become available)…



#1 RB Frank Gore (5’9”/217lbs, 31yo, Miami (FL), 10yrs pro): Gore is a player that has been around for awhile and has earned his stripes as one of the best backs In the NFL. Frank is a stalwart and tough back who seems to get better with age. In the past 3 years under coach Harbaugh Gore has really set himself apart for backs that have been in the league as long as he has as he seems to have not lost a step in recent years. I personally think that Frank has another 3 to 5 years left in him. So whatever back does end up as his backup will have a little bit of a wait to take over this starting position and become a star…

Impact Backs (Not on the current depth chart)


RB Marcus Lattimore (5’11”/221lbs, 23yo, South Carolina, 1yr pro): Lattimore is a bit of a X Factor because he has the size and tools to take over the starting role when Gore is gone. The question is how patient is he to get his moment in the sun? Lattimore is a talented back who spent all of his rookie season on the injured list and looks to have a bit of a hill to climb to get his much deserved chance. I expect him to see a lot of snaps during the preseason and for Harbaugh to take a serious look at this investment. Though I do expect him to make the roster I don’t expect to see him much once the season starts unless one of the top 4 backs gets injured…


FB Bruce Miller (6’2”/248lbs, 26yo, Central Florida, 4yrs pro): Miller will take his rightful place as the #1 fullback he has been critical to a lot of Frank Gore’s success in recent years. This guy is a converted DE who has become one of the most solid FB in the NFL today. I don’t remember how many pro bowls he has made if any but I know this guy enjoys his position and it shows on the field…


RB Jewel Hampton (5’9”/210lbs, 25yo, Southern Illinois, 2yrs pro): Jewel Hampton is a great back and has a lot to offer any team that he plays for. The small amount of time that I have seen him in action he has performed well. Unfortunately I think that he will end up being the odd man out in this very crowded backfield. It reflects nothing on his talent its just there are only so many roster spots and I don’t see them keeping more than 5 backs maximum. They may try to sign him to the practice squad but that will be the best I see for him…


If you want to listen to the Double K’s Classrrom show on the 4ACES network…


Thursday nights at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST








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