Clay,...what do you take from the fact

that Chase Hayden has , for the moment, moved ahead of Maleek Williams? Maleek seemed to have a pretty good spring for a true freshman…

Not Clay, but I think Chase being different than the rest of the backs helps him. He’s a speed back and provides a change-of-pace I think the staff feels could be valuable.

At the same time, as Reggie Mitchell noted yesterday, Maleek won’t really shine until they’re in pads and going live. Physicality is his calling card.

He was solid in the spring, averaged about 4.5 yards per carry against the second-team defense. He had some nice runs where he made yards after contact. I thought he’d have a chance to be the No. 3 guy given the leg up he had on Chase and how he’d dropped weight to try to improve quickness.

He may very well still have a role. It’s still early in fall camp. We’ll see.

Chase’s value went up even more with T.J. Hammonds hurting his knee. You need someone who can get to the edge. T.J. could do that. So can Chase. I watched Maleek yesterday in developmental work. He doesn’t quite have the zip that Chase does.

I would also bet that when he comes back they would be more prone to leave Hammonds at WR full time to better protect that knee. If Chase can handle the work load as a third back that will work fine.

The intriguing thing to me will be with Cornelius nursing a bad back and Hammonds having a gimpy knee, who will be the main guy running jet sweeps and end arounds? They’ve got several candidates among the returners and the new guys. I would think they will save the two currently injured guys for mainly catching passes, at least for the first few weeks of the season.

Do you think Jordan Jones with his 4.3/40 time might be a likely option? :smiley:

Speed kills, but the guy running those plays also needs to be able to make one good sudden cut on those plays to free himself for a really big game, and needs to be able to absorb the occasional hit. I have not seen enough of J. Jones to know if he fits that bill or not, but the dude is fast.

In a perfect world it would be nice to RS Maleek. He is too talented to waste a year with the quality that david williams brings to the table.

I don’t recall we’ve had a running back - one that had real potential to play a significant role for us during his time in Fayetteville - redshirt for any reason other than being injured.

There are a couple of reasons for that. One, even if you have 4 or 5 “quality” RB, it’s likely one or two of them will be nicked and out for at least a game or two, which means you need the others for depth/rotation. Second, running backs are all too aware of their limited shelf life anymore; so, if a guy has NFL potential, he’s going to be done after 3 years anyway. You might as well get all you can out of him while he’s on campus.

The days of an All-SEC caliber RB playing in his RS 5th year (again, barring a history of injury) is pretty much over.