There may not be a more crowded running back room than the one in State College. With four really good ball carriers in the locker room, Penn State has been able to mix things up in the backfield throughout the season.

For some, that crowded room might be reason enough to start looking for another place to play. But Ricky Slade appreciates the challenge at Penn State. He says it’s making him a better player.

“It’s made me 100 percent better,” Slade said, according to Trib Live.

“It’s made me better in that, we all have different types of games. Noah, working with him helped me lower my shoulder, get some power back in me. Devyn, he’s got great hips. Journey, he’s got great speed.”

The four backs, along with Slade, are Journey Brown, Devyn Ford and Noah Cain. Brown leads the bunch, rushing for 688 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Cain has totaled 351 yards and Ford has added 292.

Slade has rushed for 156 yards and a pair of scores so far this season.

Last season, Slade was the No. 2 guy behind Miles Sanders, who left after last season to pursue a career in the NFL. Slade finished last season with 257 yards and six touchdowns. He was expected to be the guy in the backfield this year for the Nittany Lions, but there’s been too much talent to go with just one guy.

And that will continue to be the case moving forward. Penn State has a few outstanding running back additions coming in as members of the 2020 recruiting class. While it may mean more competition for Slade, it’s something he’s looking forward to next fall.

“We’re still going to be competing in practice, we’re still going to be having fun,” Slade said. “I don’t really know how it’s going to be next year.”