Half Back Vs Full Back What’s The Difference

The half back and full back positions in football are two that are known for rushing the football but what sets these positions apart?.

This article is going to break down all the differences between the half back vs full back position.

In short, the main difference between half backs vs full backs is their stature as well as their main responsibilities. Full backs are often shorter and noticeably bulkier than most half backs. While half backs often have slighter builds and rely more on their speed.

Half Back VS Full Back Responsibilities


When it comes to blocking the half back and full back have different roles in the offense. Often times it is the full backs responsibility to act as a lead blocker for running plays.

This means the full back will run through the hole first and block the first defender he sees. The half back will follow the full back through the hole and carry the ball as far down the field as possible.

Half backs still have blocking responsibilities on some plays but in most cases, this happens in pass protection. This is notably different from the fullback position which participates in pass blocking but is known for its run blocking.

Rushing The Ball

Both full backs and half backs run with the football but again the frequency in which they do it is very different.

Half backs are considered the main ball carrier for the football team with three down backs get upwards of twenty-five carries throughout a ball game. Full backs on the other hand carry the football but get very few opportunities.

In fact, most offenses will go an entire game without their full back getting any carries at all.

In short, both positions run with the ball but the half back is responsible for being the main rushing weapon while the full back is just an accessory to the run game.


When it comes to receiving the difference between half back vs full back is similar to the run game. Both of these positions can be expected to catch passes out of the backfield but the half back is going to do it much more frequently.

The half back position can safely assume to get several targets throughout each game. And depending on the offense the half back can be one of the main weapons in the receiving game.

Full backs can receive passes and will have designed routes to run on passing plays. Though this position can expect to see only a few targets or even zero targets throughout an NFL game.

Difference In Stature

Size and stature is another way in which the half back and full back position differ. Running backs can come in many different sizes depending on the role that they play for the team.

But when it comes down to average you are going to find full backs are noticeably heavier. Full backs tend to carry more muscle mass on their body which increases their total weight.

This increased weight allows them to be better blockers in the running game. Half backs on the other hand tend to stay lean in order to keep up their speed.

You can expect your average half back to be noticeably smaller and more agile than your average full back.

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