In 2009, running back Nic Grigsby appeared to be ready to become one of the elite running backs in the nation. After two games, he was one of the leading rushers in the nation.
Then the injury bug hit and Grigsby's season was a massive disappointment.
Arizona hopes the injury problems are behind Grigsby because with the loss of Delashaun Dean and Terrell Turner from the receiving corps, UA is slightly unsettled at wide receiver and will need to running game to pick up the slack.
Grigsby has all the talent in the world, but has had difficulty staying on the field over the past 12 months. Luckily for him and the Wildcats, there are several capable backups that stepped in and picked up the slack.
But if Arizona wants to improve its running attack, it is going to start with a healthy Grigsby. As a senior, Grigsby is the leader of the group and has, by far, the most experience of any rusher on the roster. He understands the system and has the speed and athleticism required to become one of the nation's best. As long as he can stay on the field, Grigsby could be in for a monster season.
Sure, UA has the likes of Keola Antolin, Greg Nwoko, Daniel Jenkins and Kylan Butler to pick up the slack in case he goes down, but Grigsby is currently the best of the group and has the potential to run for 1200+ yards. Antolin has a lot of experience but has battled injuries as well and may not be ready to shoulder the entire load. Nwoko was very productive in a limited role but looked like a typical freshman at times. Jenkins has a ton of talent but hasn't the field; nor has Butler.
With the questions surrounding receiver, Grigsby is going to need to run well with consistency to make life easier for the passing game. Now the passing game is expected to produce; it's not as if the team is desperate for wide receivers, but losing two of the most productive players the offense has recently had is going to cause some concern. A healthy Grigsby will take some pressure off the rest of the offense while an unhealthy Grigsby could end up causing a lot of problems for the offense.
A successful running game can do wonders for an offense. It keeps the defense honest while opening up the passing game in the process. If UA can keep its best running back healthy in 2010, the sky is the limit on offense.
Grigsby vital to offense
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