New faces at running back ready to lead the Wildcats

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KAKE) -

For the past three seasons Alex Barnes was "Mr. Reliable" for the K-State Wildcats. He left Manhattan with 12 100-yard rushing games and 25 rushing touchdowns, but now he's living out a dream playing with the Tennessee Titans. 

There wasn't really anyone behind Barnes, so Chris Klieman had to get creative.

"We've got to fix it in a hurry," said Klieman after he got the job at K-State and saw the lack of depth at running back. "You're not just going to fix it with young kids. You needed to fix it with, whether it was a junior college guy or a grad transfer and we felt comfortable going with the grad transfer route because we found a couple of guys that we thought would fit what we're doing offensively."

Enter James Gilbert and Jordon Brown. Gilbert is a grad transfer from Ball State and Brown from North Carolina.

"You can tell that they have experience, with Jordan and James. Both being grad transfers and having in-game experience," said Kansas State junior quarterback. "When they stepped in here, they just picked up on the offense quick."

"It helps to have a guy that's carried the ball. I don't care where he's carried the ball, he's carried the ball in college football before," said Klieman. 

Don’t forget about Harry Trotter. He was the first running back to relocate. Trotter sat out all of last year after leaving Louisville. Now the trio of transfers are ready to lead the Wildcats.

"It's always a competition. Everybody wants to play, everybody wants to get touches," said Brown.  "We compete everyday as a running back group and we're all also at the same time trying to help each other get better."

"It's not going to be like who is the starter and this and that. It's going to be running back by committee. Anybody can start in this offense and everybody is good enough to play," said Gilbert. "I feel like we're just going to keep competing, and keep getting each other better and our running back room is going to keep the team on our back and keep pounding away."