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RBs have big production to replace

The countdown of Stanford's top-5 position groups with room to improve continues.

One position group will be highlighted each day this week.

No. 2: Running back

Must replace: Tyler Gaffney, Anthony Wilkerson, FB Ryan Hewitt

Returning starters: none

Players to watch: Remound Wright, Barry Sanders Jr., Ricky Seale

Outlook: The good news? Three of Stanford's five leading rushers from 2013 return. The bad news? One is a quarterback and the other two are receivers. Gaffney was so good (1,709 yards rushing) and Stanford played in so many close games that it was difficult to get a gauge on the other running backs on the depth chart. The top three players vying to replace Gaffney -- Wright, Sanders and Seale -- combined for just 34 carries last season (just over six percent of Stanford's rushing attempts). Wright is more of a physical back, while Sanders and Seale are a little more shifty in nature. Of the three, Sanders was the most high-profile recruit. The Cardinal also must find a fullback to replace Hewitt. Lee Ward and Patrick Skov will begin that competition in the spring. Recent signee Christian McCaffrey could factor in at running back as well, but he's more likely destined to redshirt.

The countdown

No. 3: Linebacker

No. 4: Defensive line

No. 5: Wide receiver