“It bothered me a little bit, but I respect Coach’s decision,” Pettway said about Gus Malzahn holding him out of the contest just like he did a week earlier in the final scrimmage before the spring football game.
“(Pettway) not playing was by design,” Malzahn said after the game. “He has had a very good spring and has stayed healthy. That was just a coach’s decision.”
Despite suffering a quad injury last season vs. Vanderbilt that forced him to miss the next two games vs. Georgia and Alabama A&M while playing at much less than full speed in the regular season finale vs. Alabama, Pettway rushed for 1,224 yards as a redshirt sophomore.
Kamryn Pettway, shown with his daughter, will be a redshirt junior for the Tigers.
Even though the 2017 Tigers are expected to be less reliant on the running attack under new coordinator Chip Lindsey, Pettway said, “I am liking this offense a little bit more. It is giving us (running backs) a chance to show our hands and get out of the backfield and get in the open field a little bit more.”
Pettway, who was known as a good receiver at Prattville High while playing running back, caught just two passes last season. That number is expected to increase this fall with Lindsey noticing Pettway’s potential as a receiver. Malzahn also mentioned that the running back has good hands in the passing game.
As long as he stays healthy Pettway is expected to be the No. 1 option at running back this fall. In the spring the competition was for the backup spots with junior Kerryon Johnson, redshirt freshman Malik Miller and sophomore walk-on C.J. Tolbert getting the majority of the carries.
The big junior back had praise for his teammates who played running back in the spring game. “I think they looked really good. They had a chance to get a lot of reps and lot of chances to show what they were able to do.”