Lionel Gates poised for big season

Junior running back Lionel Gates is apart of a Cardinal running attack that could be one of the more effective rushing attacks in recent Cardinal history. ITV spoke with Lionel following Wednesday's practice.

Following two seasons of disappointment, junior running back Lionel Gates appears poised to have his breakthrough season. The additional work during the summer and a new offense have helped transform him into the type of back that most expected of him.

ITV caught up with Lionel following Wednesday's practice and discussed his development and preperation for the upcoming season.

ITV: From your perspective, how is the running game developing?

Gates: We've been doing a good job. Since practices have been closed we have had more time to focus and meet together as a group. We're getting polished up on our footwork and techniques and stuff like that. The running game is coming along great. The fullbacks are doing a great job and the offensive line is doing a great job.

ITV: Because of injuries and other situations, this really seems like your first opportunity to shine as a running back. As you prepare for the season what is going through your mind?

Gates: As each day goes by I get to continue to prove to myself and to others that I am the back that they expect me to be and everybody knew I was coming out of high school. I'm getting more and more anxious each day. I'm loving it.

ITV: Yourself and Eric Shelton make a dangerous 1-2 combination for opposing defenses. How are the two of you working together?

Gates: Eric and I have a close relationship. It's actually good to have a big, strong power back like Eric and then someone who is more versatile and can get outside. Defenses are going to have some trouble with the both of us.

ITV: Will the two of you be on the field at the same time?

Gates: Oh yeah. We're going to make ways to get both of us on the field and do some damage to that defense, so we make plays for the offense and help us win.

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