Julian Durden opened some eyes when he came to the prospect camp last year as a sophomore. Now, with a new coaching staff, he went to the Pitt camp again, but under a different philosophy.
Either way, Durden liked both Pitt camps, and enjoyed himself going through individual drills on Friday. It also sounds like he is becoming more comfortable with the new coaching staff.
"I enjoyed it because I felt like this is what I'd be getting into if I came to Pitt," Durden said. "The running backs coach (Calvin Magee), I feel we have a little connection. We were on the same page. I knew what he was expecting. I feel like I gave him what he was expecting in the drills. During lunch, I asked him if there was anything he needed to see specifically. He just wanted to see me run routes and catch the ball. I feel I gave him a good look, if I committed."
One thing that was different about this Pitt camp, as opposed to previous ones and even the one Durden went to last year, is that the running backs worked just as much on catching the ball as they did carrying the ball. He enjoyed getting a chance to show how well he could catch the ball.
"It wasn't tough, because you want to show coaches that you're well rounded," Durden added. "They're looking for a well-rounded, well-balanced running back. Anybody can run the ball. If you do both well, then you got the whole package. I think they saw I was more than just a regular running back."
However, when it came to 7-on-7, quarterbacks typically don't look for the running backs. Durden, as well as some other running backs joked that there's always some frustration in those 7-on-7s, but it made the individual drills all the more important.
"The quarterbacks never show us love (in the 7-on-7)," Durden said. "In the 1-on-1s, that's the best competition. It brings out the better athlete in me. I feel like when you put me in there competing against a linebacker, I'm going to do better. I want to be the person they call to go against the best linebacker. That's what every running back should want to do."
Though he did see a little of the facilities on his latest visit for this camp, Durden didn't need to see too much of them since he's been to Pitt before. In fact, he already has a pretty good perspective on that.
The focus on this visit was getting a better feel for the Pitt offense, which he did by simply going through the workout. However, he's not sold on what he learned at the Pitt camp about this ‘fast-pace' offense. He wants to see how the current Pitt team opens the season, and how they end up scoring points. In fact, that appears to be the one thing Durden is waiting on, before making a decision.
"Honestly, I feel like I want to see their offense in a game, in action," Durden said. "I want to see how they're running the ball, how they're going to work the offense and who's going to run the ball most of the time. I want to see how they'll do in certain positions in a game.
"I also would like to see their running back depth chart. If I'm not going to get a fair chance to play, or if there's five other good running backs playing, playing in front of me. I want to see all of that, then see that out of all of the schools that want me. That will help me decide where I want to go and play."