If you were to pick a favorite, maybe go with Alston. In fact, when pressed, that's who Holgorsen talks about.
"He's slimmed up a little bit,'' Holgorsen said when asked to name a player - any player - who might be a surprise this season. "He's going to be a fifth-year senior and he probably has the loudest voice in our locker room as far as being heard, being respected. He likes to refer to himself as the boss.''
At 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds, Alston is also the most powerful of the ball carriers compared to the 5-9, 187-pound Buie and the 5-9, 166-pound Garrison.
"He's a big, strong guy we can give the ball to and he can get us some yards and some first down,'' Holgorsen said.
Buie and Garrison are kind of in the same boat as smaller, shiftier backs, with Buie having the edge in power and Garrison is elusiveness. Buie slipped off the radar a bit after suffering some monstrous hits early in the season and being replaced by Garrison.
But Garrison, of course, blew out a knee just before the Orange Bowl and his status is one huge question mark. He says he's healthy again and so do the trainers, but knee injuries can change a player.
"I don't know. Good question,'' Holgorsen said in regard to Garrison's health. "They say he's doing great, but there's a mental aspect that you've got to overcome as far as getting out there and cutting and getting hit that we're going to see.
"But I can only go from what [the trainers] are saying. They're saying he's doing well and he's ready to go, so I assume he's ready to go.''
Holgorsen's offenses have always been known for throwing the football, but he's also produced more than a few 1,000-yard backs at his coaching stops. With three seemingly equal candidates for the job this year, don't expect one to churn out those types of numbers, but who knows? Maybe this is the year one emerges.
Not that it matters.
"The good news is that we've got three good backs who have some experience from last year,'' Holgorsen said. "We've got Ryan Clarke and Donovan Miles, who give us bigger backs. We've got five guys with game experience and we'll add some freshmen to that as well. So we'll see what happens.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.