"He faked me out last year," said Tommy Bowden of Merrieweather's performance during spring ball. "It's the same type of effort (this year), but he's a little bit sharper on his assignments and those things that are a little more important in games- protections, changing plays, and runs."
Reggie Merriweather was an All-American by SuperPrep, USA Today, and Tom Lemming as a senior at North Augusta. He rushed for 2,580 yards with 29 touchdowns that year. After redshirting his freshman year, he had 16 carries for 59 yards in 2003.
Merriweather was impressive during spring practice in 2003, but he was unable to carry over that success to the regular season. Missed assignments and failing to pick up the blitz caused him to get lost in the shuffle behind Duane Coleman, Chad Jasmin, and Yusef Kelly.
Merriweather played in all 13 games last season, mostly as a special teams contributor. He was named the most improved running back during winter workouts and was one of the top running backs of spring practice for the second consecutive year.
In comparing Duane Coleman and Yusef Kelly to Reggie Merriweather, running backs coach Burton Burns says, "Reggie is the wildcard. Overall, he has the potential to be probably better than both of those guys in the long run, but the thing with Reggie is with his consistency and his overall game. Again, in the spring, we all always felt comfortable with Reggie as far as a ball carrier. He's got to work on some things and some techniques that he wasn't real comfortable with last year."
Merriweather rushed for 32 yards in the March 27th scrimmage, 53 yards on April 3rd, and then added 9 carries for 47 yards in the Orange & White game.
"He faked me out last year," said Tommy Bowden of Merriweather's performance during spring ball. "It's the same type of effort (this year), but he's a little bit sharper on his assignments and those things that are a little more important in games- protections, changing plays, and runs. He's showing that he's a little more consistent. I don't think he can trick me twice."
Merriweather has a nice combination of speed and power, and he may have the most potential of any running back on the roster. After establishing himself again during spring practice this season, he has earned a new sense of respect from the coaching staff. Now comes the hard part: he has to figure out a way to continue to improve during the fall. Chances are he'll have his opportunity early on, all he needs to do is produce on game days to earn more playing time.