Shannon Brooks Likely To Make Gophers’ Debut vs. Colorado State


Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Gophers’ freshman running back Shannon Brooks was one of the standouts of the team’s mid-August scrimmage, with 16 carries for 91 yards as he worked with the second-team offense. He did not play in Minnesota’s season opener against TCU, but there are strong indications that Brooks will play against Colorado State on Saturday.

Brooks, who is from the Atlanta, Georgia area, was rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN, and 247Sports. He does not have a bruising build, at 6’0″, 206 lbs, but ESPN’s analysis of Brooks gave him good marks in toughness, balance, cutback ability and playing strength.

On the Gophers’ recently released depth chart for Saturday against Colorado State, Brooks is listed as the No. 3 tailback behind Rodrick Williams and Rodney Smith. That is where Brooks should be for his collegiate debut, all things considered, though I can make a case for Smith to be Minnesota’s No. 1 tailback.

Exactly how much Brooks will play on Saturday, or more specifically how many carries he will get, is unclear. But if he does well with the opportunities he does get, a re-shuffling of the Gophers’ running back depth chart could come quickly.

If Smith and Brooks prove to be Minnesota’s best two running backs, with strong showings over the first two non-conference games, their collective lack of experience should not keep them off the field going forward. Williams needs to play better than he did against TCU, and his starter status should not be guaranteed based purely on his experience.

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