Schlabach: ND RBs a key position battle

Colleague Mark Schlabach takes a look this week at some of the top position battles around the country, and running back tops the list for Notre Dame.

From Schlabach's story:

Notre Dame

Running back: George Atkinson III vs. Amir Carlisle vs. Cam McDaniel vs. Will Mahone vs. Greg Bryant vs. Tarean Folston

Notre Dame's running game took a lot of pressure off quarterback Everett Golson last season, but now the Irish will have to play without Golson, who is ineligible for the 2013 season, and leading rushers Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood, who have departed. Atkinson, who ran for 361 yards and five touchdowns last season, seems to be next in line to start. He has good speed, but struggled with blocking and patience last season. Carlisle, a USC transfer, can't stay healthy; he missed last season with an ankle injury and then broke his collarbone in the spring. Bryant, an incoming freshman, was ranked the No. 2 running back in the country by ESPN Recruiting Nation and had scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia and dozens of other schools.

Stanford's backfield race and USC's quarterback competition are other notable position battles that Schlabach takes a look at in the story.

I spoke about the Irish's returning running backs briefly Thursday on College Football Live here.