Brad Salem is facing a number of big decisions in his first year as Michigan State’s offensive coordinator.

Salem takes over as OC after what was a rather disappointing 2018 for the Spartan offense. The team undoubtedly dealt with a number of injuries last season, but it is also no secret that better results are needed in 2019.

One of the biggest decisions facing Salem early on is who will start at running back. L.J. Scott is no longer with the Spartans, but the team is returning two of its top three rushers, along with a couple of newcomers.

According to Stephen Brooks with Spartan Tailgate, Salem currently sees five backs vying for the job with each one bringing something different to the table. Of the group, Connor Heyward has the most experience after rushing for 529 yards in 2018.

Unfortunately, Salem believes a true No. 1 back may not be established until the team sees live action:

“The hard part is, for running back, you need to see them run live,” he said. “We do as much as probably anybody in the country, but you want to see guys make people miss and make plays in space and run over somebody and make yards.”

Hopefully, one back is able to solidify his position ahead of Week 1. The Spartans begin the season August 30 against Tulane.