The good: Incumbent Ryan McCants looked impressive
- big, strong and powerful in between the tackles. Junior college transfer Jeremy Francis integrated quickly displaying excellent hands and good speed. Patrick Fuller turned in another fine spring practice as he pushes for playing time
one last time.
The bad: Francis missed the last week of practice
and the spring game when his ankle and knee was tweaked after he was tackled.
As a result he will have arthroscopic knee surgery in the summer.
The question: Are there enough carries for McCants,
Francis, Fuller and incoming freshman Jacquizz Rodgers to keep them all happy?
Top spring performer: Ryan McCants. The comparisons
to Steven Jackson abound and those are some huge shoes to fill, but McCants
looked up to par for being the sixth back in OSU history to run for 1,000 yards
in a season.
Riley says: "McCants ran well. Every time he plays
he learns something about running the football — that's pretty obvious. He has
to get a better feel for the inside zone. As far as running hard and making
some of his own yards, he was outstanding."
- RFr. Ryan McCants (6-1, 236) - good
outside zone runner...needs to work on his inside running vision, will come
with experience...excellent at getting his own yards and keeping his legs
moving...ran for 57 yards, a long of 18 yards, and one touchdown on 16 carries
behind a beat up offensive line in the spring game.
- Jr. Jeremy Francis (5-11, 217) - arthroscopic
knee surgery in the summer...expected to be ready for fall camp...integrated
quickly with team, a lead by example type guy...a fluid runner who excels
in pressure situations... a deadly blend of receiving and running aptitude...still
needs to work on picking up blitzes...will be used in the backfield and as
- Sr. Patrick Fuller (5-11, 205) - Riley
says he has looked "as good as he ever has"...an excellent gunner
on special teams...with McCants and Francis in front of him his opportunities
carrying the ball will be limited unless there is an injury.
- Fr. Jeff Sampson (6-1 232) - walk on who will most likely be asked to leave to make room for incoming freshman...rushed four times for 22 yards in spring game.
Coming in the fall: Jacquizz Rodgers, expected to contribute immediately, but coaches would like to redshirt with a loaded backfield, Jovan Stevenson, will redshirt, Brandon Jackson, reportedly going to transfer from Kentucky, but there is limited roster space and no room in the offensive backfield.
Additional notes: Redshirt freshman Ahmed Mokhtar left the program to seek playing time elsewhere.