More signs that San Diego is targeting a running back

When the San Diego Chargers decided to part ways with LaDainian Tomlinson in February, the speculation began that the team would look to address the running back position—possibly via the draft.

Darren Sproles has been effective, but the 5’6”, 185-pounder has never carried the ball more than 93 times in a season. In addition, there are concerns as to whether Sproles’ frame could handle the physical pounding an every-down back takes in the NFL.

NFP analyst Matt Bowen discussed the possibility of a trade for Cowboys running back Marion Barber Friday morning, but as we continued to pursue this story, we came across some more interesting information.

The Chargers recently met with running backs Toby Gerhart (Stanford) and Montario Hardesty (Tennessee) in San Diego, according to a league source.

The 23-year-old Gerhart led the country in rushing yards (1,871) and touchdowns (28) in 2009 while averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

The 23-year-old Hardesty rushed for 1,345 yards (25th in NCAA) and 13 touchdowns for the 7-6 Volunteers last season.

In addition, we also heard a rumor that a running back from Fresno State was in San Diego to meet with the Chargers as well. Although we have yet to confirm, Bulldog running backs Ryan Mathews (5-11, 218) and Lonyae Miller (5-11, 221) both fit the physical, between-the-tackles mold the Bolts could be looking for.

All four running backs are between 5-11 and 6-0 and weigh between 218 and 231 pounds.

It appears that the Chargers have an idea of what they want their new running back to look like.

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