CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In North Carolina’s opening day of training camp, T.J. Logan started the session by working into drills with the wide receiving corps and not his traditional running back crew.
“(The coaches) are trying to stretch us a little bit,” Logan said. “Take some pressure off [Ryan] Switzer in the A-Back position.”
Logan also lined up in the slot with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback during one particular team drill.
Logan received some exposure to the A-back in training camp last year, but saw minimal snaps in the slot during the season. The Greensboro, N.C. native played in all 13 games and started nine at tailback last year, totaling 582 rushing yards and catching 26 passes for 144 yards. He has averaged 5.3 yards per carry in his collegiate career.
Logan has only scored seven touchdowns in a Carolina uniform, but that can be attributed in part to receiving just 18 carries in goal-to-go situations.
The work at A-back could be inspired by Logan’s biggest challenge as a running back: blocking.
“I feel like sometimes they send blitzes at me, so I need to get my hand placement right and just finish,” Logan said.
Moving Logan to the slot for certain sets would allow the offense to utilize his greatest strength (track speed) and limit his need to block, while also making room for an extra tailback on the field.
Logan is one of UNC’s most dangerous speed threats. He runs a 4.4 40-yard dash time, and is capable of beating defenders in the open field. These skills can benefit the Tar Heels from any position, which is an obvious reason that Logan is a kick returner. He led the team with 16 returns for 405 yards (25.3/return - 5th in the ACC) last season.
When Logan did get to run during the media portion of practice, he made strong cuts on the read option with Marquise Williams, and when he regrouped with running backs for drills, he showed off why he is capable of being the starter in the backfield.
Logan understands that he will continue to face stiff competition for that spot.
“(The coaching staff) definitely talks about just one guy stepping up,” Logan said. “We’re fighting for the position, so we’re all working hard. They want one guy. It’s just you’re going have to go out there and show it.”
It’s admittedly early in training camp, but it looks possible that he adds receiving to his growing repertoire.
Logan's Evolving Offensive Role
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