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A Forgotten Running Back Prospect: Utah State's Robert Turbin

On Wednesday, I did a writeup about one of the lesser talked about running back prospects in this year's draft--Baylor's Terrance Ganaway. The reason behind that writeup (and this one) is that the team is in the market for at least one running back, if not two. They'll likely be looking at the draft for a back in one of the first few rounds. One player who is in that "middle tier" of running back prospects that are mentioned after some of the bigger names is Utah State's Robert Turbin.

Turbin didn't come on many draftnicks' radars until late in the 2011 season and has been rising up on some boards during the Aggies' five-game winning streak at the latter part of the year. It was in that winning streak that Turbin really turned some heads, as his performances helped lead the team to an appearance at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the University of Ohio.

Like the case with Ganaway, draft experts and Bengals fans are connecting the team to some of the bigger names in the draft. Names like Trent Richardson, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, and Doug Martin have all been linked to the Bengals within the first couple of rounds of the draft. But, if the team decides to wait until the second round or later to select a running back, Turbin could be a player that they look at.

Built a little lighter than Ganaway, Turbin comes in at 5'10 and 215 pounds. He had a fantastic statistical 2011 season, as he racked up 1,517 yards on 249 carries for a 6.1 yards per carry average and 19 touchdowns. He had more long runs than Ganaway did last season with multiple runs over 25 yards or more, capping out with a season-long 80-yard run. He also was used a little bit more often as a receiver than Ganaway, as he had 17 catches for 171 yards and added another four touchdowns.

He didn't play in the 2010 season due to an unfortunate ACL tear that he suffered in offseason workouts, but did have an impressive sophomore year back in 2009. In that season, he ran for 1,296 yards on 207 carries for a 6.3 yard per carry average and 13 touchdowns, while also compiling 30 receptions for 418 yards and five touchdowns that year, which defends his reputation as a multi-dimensional back.

Scouts seem to like Turbin because of his combination of size, speed and vision. He doesn't seem to be the type to blow anyone away with his workouts, but he's been productive and has a lot of intriguing aspects to his game. He seems to be a forgotten guy in the running back mix with the Bengals, but if he has an impressive Combine showing he could continue to rise up boards and get more exposure. If the Bengals are looking for a capable back that can be a three-down player, Turbin could be a direction they look in rounds two through four.