Running Backs<..."/>

Running Backs<..."/>

The WBN Kentucky Wildcat Football Position Previews: The RB's


Running Backs
Running back had been a position at UK that has been a great source of pride for the last few years in Lexington, dating all the way back to 2001 when Kentucky product Artose Pinner ran for nearly 1500 yards in a season. Since then Kentucky has had only one 1,000 yard rusher (Rafael Little in 2005, 2007 ) but has found great success employing multiple rushers, with as many as four players rushing for at least 300 yards for the last three years. This year, with the departure of Derrick Locke (861 yds last year), there is another chance for a fleet of talented ball carriers to once again make the Cats a formidable ground threat.
Raymond Sanders came in as a highly touted recruit and was not pushed into action too early, only seeing spot action during the season until Locke went down with a shoulder injury. Sanders performed very well in his fill-in role, most notably carrying the ball for 79 yards in 16 carries against Georgia and 71 against Mississipi St. Having experience against tough conference opponents like that makes for a smaller adjustment curve and hopefully more production. Behind him stands a large but rather young and inexperienced group, but all are talented and ready to show off their skills in Commonwealth Stadium this fall

Projected Starter:
#4-Raymond Sanders-SO-5’8″/205-Stone Mountain, GA
This smaller back has a big punch, coming out of the newly formed pipeline from Stephenson high school. A former all-state honorable mention in Georgia and all-region offensive player of the year for his district, Sanders rushed for over 1600 yards his senior season. This shifty back has enough power to break through tackles, but enough moves to avoid them as well. The former track star (regional champ in the 100 and state champ in the relay) looks to burn up the turf much more this season.

The Main Contenders:
#25-Jonathan George-SO-5’10″/209- Lincoln, AL
Coming in a year before Raymond Sanders, this tailback was doing his best Randall Cobb impression his senior year of high school, amassing almost 3300 all-purpose yards and 26 touchdowns. The larger framed back has both the size and strength to do any job on the field, as a multiple event state champion in track (200m, 400m, and relay) and two time state champion wrestler he more than proved he has the tools. Played only spot duty last year but will need to step up and make more of a contribution as Sanders will need breaks throughout the year.
#26-CoShik Williams-JR-5’9″/178- Hiram, GA
The elder member of the group, Wiliams is listed as the fastest person on the team (at least according to NCAA Football ’12 by EA Sports) and provide a very good change of pace from the rest of the backs. Many packages in Joker’s system have outside run packages that necessitate speed and knowledge of the blocking lanes, and Williams will need to perform if the lack of maturity in the backfield rears its ugly head.
#29-Brandon Gainer- 5’11″/199-Miami, FL
After redshirting last year, Gainer has made great leaps in the weight room and looks to be the primary goal line/short yardage option this year. A top-15 back for his signing class, he provides a little more bulk to the position and if the injury bug bites this position hard enough, then Gainer’s touted durability might turn out to be beneficial.
#23 Edmund Allen Jr.-FR- 5’11″/194- Elizabethtown, KY
Not much information on this redshirt freshman, walked onto the team last year and hopes to contribute, but should mostly serve on clipboard duty.

The Newcomers:
#20 Josh Clemons-FR- 5’10″/201- Fayetteville, GA Clemons has impressed many with his performance since setting foot on campus, leading many to believe he’ll see the field more this year than the casual observer would expect. Coming from a strong football family (his father played in the NFL, his brother at UGA) he was voted the AAAA Offensive Player of the Year his senior year and has been timed under 4.5 seconds in the 40 yd dash.
#30 Marcus Caffey-FR- 5’11″/189- Atlanta, GA
The tallest of the running back stable, this Atlanta product was named to multiple award lists in high school and also boasts a sub-4.5 40-yd time. Rushed for over 1600 yards his senior season and was ranked in the top 50 for RB’s in his signing class.

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