Many pre-season checklists are now being reviewed and positions broken down ..."/>
Many pre-season checklists are now being reviewed and positions broken down ..."/>

Why No Love for UK Running Backs?


Many pre-season checklists are now being reviewed and positions broken down from almost every angle (with WBN’s positional breakdown coming up soon) and fans and writers alike find UK wanting in several places on both the offensive and defensive sides. Quarterback? We got that one. Experienced offensive line? Check. Running Backs? Check….wait, nobody else raised their hand in agreement?
Many writers have pointed out the receiver position as a position of need; well that’s the easy way out. Others have pointed towards the RB position as the area with the most questions and while slightly less obvious as an area of concern, is still pointed out as the “clever” place to poke holes in the Cats’ offense. But why? Inexperience? Sure, there are no resident starters in house but simply looking at the numbers shows there is plenty of knowledge to go around. Raymond Sanders (the nation’s #15 all-purpose back when signed) may only be a sophomore, but watching Derrick Locke run in a offense for a year (and giving him rests when needed) creates more playbook awareness and experience than watching some other backs for three. Not to mention that if consistency questions actually do arise, junior CoShik Williams is waiting in the wings. Add that to another do-everything in Jonathan George (a state champion in track, and wrestling, as well as a football all-state honorable mention in Alabama) and it seems that the position is long on everything but stat lines.
Not enough for you? That kind of talent not doing it for you? Let’s look at the guys who haven’t even seen the field.

Josh Clemons- It is baffling to me how a player that was ranked 1st team all-state in the football hotbed of Georgia can be ranked three stars, but here it is. Son of a former NFL footballer and academic honoree, whispers having been swirling all summer of his abilities and the impressions he has made on coaches.

Marcus Caffey- Top 40 running back was a second team selection in Georgia and while his list of accolades is smaller, he will still prove useful as a swing back and speedster.

Brandon Gainer- Redshirted last year but came in as a very highly regarded signing day coup for Joker. The 15th ranked running back in 2009 was known as a bruiser from the start, picking up second team all-state team awards two years in a row in high school and two year member of the all-Dade county team. For those of you who don’t know your Florida geography, Dade county is the county in which Miami resides, and I hear they play some football down that way. That ain’t no joke.

So why no love? It’s the competition. All those accolades don’t mean much when you’re hearing names like Marcus Lattimore, Trent Richardson, Knile Davis, and Michael Dyer every week. Fact is more often than not Kentucky will be out talented in at least one position every week. So what hope do we have? The offensive line is capable of helping out the younger backs by giving them larger holes, and we have plenty of fresh, talented legs to throw out onto the field. Coaching is going to factor in to games as the talent gap closes against many other teams, and Joker might finally get what he wants: the talent to compete in the SEC. So will he have the coaching chops?

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