Spring recap/preview Part VII
Under Tom O’Brien BC defined predictable. One of the hallmarks of the BC season was a focus on the ground game, with the featured back passing the 1,000 yard mark. Then came 2004: A dynamic QB and a platoon of young and injury-prone tailbacks led to a shift in the offense. Andre Callender, L.V. Whitworth and A.J. Brooks all played well and showed potential, but collectively they could not match Derrick Knight and Horace Dodd’s production from the year before.
|Running Backs||Attp per game||Yds per game||TDs|
**I did include Ross' stats, did not include QB rushing
This season, I think BC will revert back and focus on the ground game. I expect to see attempts increase and hopefully production will as well. I like all three and think whoever wins the role will have a great season. And if anyone struggles early, expect a quick hook (exhibit A: Dodd in 2002, exhibit B: Ross 2004). So here are the guys fighting for the starting job:
Andre Callender showed the ability to catch the ball and has the most elusive style of the three.
L.V. Whitworth is more of a power runner -- he’ll hit the hole and whoever is standing in his way. Fortunately in the Tire Bowl he showed the ability to adapt and finally ran around and away from defenders.
A. J. Brooks showed the best burst and seems to have the most speed. His big play ability could be needed, but I think the coaching staff has already tagged him as the No. 3 guy. Meaning he is unlikely to get a shot at the starting job. In fact, I bet after summer practice the coaching staff will potentially redshirt him. A.J. was supposed to redshirt last season, but injuries to Andre and L.V. forced the staff to use him.
While their styles are slightly different, their areas in need of improvement were all very similar -- staying on their feet, reading and reacting to the blocking and staying healthy.
Mark Palmer will start the reason at fullback. I think he can have a big season and could be a good safety net for Quinton Porter in the passing game. But blocking is the fullbacks first resposibilty in BC’s offense. If he doesn’t block well, Paddy Lynch will get some snaps. (If Lynch and Palmer struggle, I would like to see Whitworth used as Fullback. But there is no way Mr. Predictable would try that.)
BC will run the ball. And then run some more. I expect to see a healthy Whitworth run for 1,000 yards. Callender running for 500 and catching a few balls. Brooks will probably draw the short straw, but will hopefully benefit from a redshirt year.