Running Backs, Spring Recap

It was Michael Gordon’s second carry of the spring game when we saw all we needed to see. Flash is still flash.

Gordon, the senior incumbent starter at running back, dashed 62 yards for a score and just had one more carry on the night.

And that is all we would see of the Red Wolves’ top running back. Gordon, who rushed for 1100 yards last season, finished the night with three carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.

“It was good to see him out there healthy,’’ said Coach Blake Anderson. “He has that extra gear and was so banged up last year he did not show it the last half of the season.”

That left the rest of the night to gauge the talent competing for the No. 2 spot.

Last season’s backup was redshirt sophomore Johnston White, who ran for 514 yards last season and scored 6 touchdowns. DeKeathan Williams ran for 50 yards on 11 carries last season and Tank Hollingsworth had 101 yards on 38 carries. Both had a touchdown.

In the scrimmage, White finished with 27 yards on 2 carries. Williams had 24 yards on 4 carries, redshirt freshman Logan Morgane 78 yards on 6 carries, Hollingsworth 20 on 10 carries and redshirt freshman Katon Hill 36 yards on 9 carries.

“I think the surprise of the spring was the productivity we got out of DeKeathan,” said offensive coordinator Walt Bell. The production we got out of him was really, really improved during the spring. In terms of his pass protection and being assignment sound and taking care of the football. I trust DeKeathan, Silky (Johnston White). I trust having those guys out there. A lot of people hear third string on the depth chart and they think that is pretty far down but at running back it is going to take five to get through a year. We used five last year and five scored touchdowns for us last year. Those top three guys are going to get carries from Game 1 through Game 12. I feel really good about Johnston and I feel really good about DeKeathan.”

Bell said Moragne is as good a walk-on as he has been around and could work his way in the mix in the fall and certainly by the 2016 season. He said Hollingsworth, one of the top runners in Alabama history, is still slowed by injuries.

“We had a couple of big runs, I know Logan Moragne had one it hit and it opened up you could see it from behind to have the speed to out run both safeties was something I hadn’t really had a chance to see from him,’’ said Anderson.

Moragne, from Little Rock Central, finished with 78 yards on 6 carries to lead all rushers.

“And we know what Mike and Silky can do but both DeKeathan and Logan had some big runs,’’ said Anderson. “They made guys miss in open field so those were bright spots.”

Of course the key to the offense is what happens up front on the offensive line.

“We still have some work to do on the offensive line, still trying to find the right five,’’ said Anderson. “Who is going to be our center? We didn’t get to look at Devin (Mondie) over the last week and that wasn’t what we wanted. With Devin playing center. Daniel Keith took some good snaps but I don’t really know that is where he truly needs to be. That is still a work in progress and something we have go to keep after, especially early in fall camp. We have got to find the five we are going to play with and get those guys to communicate together and injury and opportunity just didn’t give us that chance to solidify who those five guys yet.”