Bennett Handling Workload

Isaac Bennett started seeing action as soon as Ray Graham went down with his knee injury after the UConn game. Bennett player the final five games of the season and started the final two. In those five games, he rushed for 237 yards on 58 carries (4.1 avg) with a touchdown. He also caught 14 passes for 88 yards and another touchdown.

It could be looked at as keeping the seat warm for Ray Graham when he comes back, but regardless, Isaac Bennett says there's no pressure involved anywhere. There's no pressure in worrying about when Graham is going to come back. There's no pressure in worrying about if Rushel Shell will make a move when he gets to Pitt in August. Bennett is simply enjoying his time right now, taking carries with the first-team offense.

"I'm not really worried about it," Bennett said. "I'm trying just to play; play the game. I'd like to play alongside all the other running backs; Ray (Grham), Corey (Davis), Malcolm (Crockett), Rushel Shell and Desmond Brown."

That's not all that surprising to hear. Paul Chryst can point to his 2010 group of running backs at Wisconsin. That year, James White led the team with 1,052 yards, followed by John Clay (1,012) and Montee Ball (966). Then in 2011, Ball went on to become a Heisman finalist, rushing for 1,923 yards, while White still rushed for 713, despite taking a drop in carries.

In other words, either Bennett has seen for himself that multiple running backs can be productive, or there's a plan already in the works.

"Coach Chryst said that awhile back," Bennett added. "They had rotated a lot of running backs at Wisconsin. I'm looking to share time with all the other running backs."

Bennett's in a unique situation from many of his teammates. While most of the defensive players are still comfortable enough to run the 4-3—being recruited for that scheme, and most of the offensive linemen were recruited for the pro-style grind-it-out approach, Bennett is different. He came from a spread offense in high school, and now has to transition to a pro-style offense. When he finds a hole—something he did a couple times in practice on Tuesday—he's shown he can make big plays. Once, he juked out defender Stephen Williams. On another, he bowled over cornerback Lafayette Pitts.

"I don't know if he (saw him) or not," Bennett said of Pitts on that play. "I saw him."

One part that's slightly different, yet one that seems to be easy for him to adjust to, is having a fullback in front of him for the first time in his career.

"I think I could fit in a lot of different systems, I just have to study more; more film work," Bennett said. "We played a little shotgun and pistol (in high school), but it's not too different. Our fullbacks, they give a lot of heart. I can trust them every time. It's not too different. It's just repetition."

Chryst agreed, basically saying that a running back is simply a running back. Though he's not in a position to say that Isaac Bennett is ahead of Corey Davis, or anyone else for that matter, Chryst doesn't value playing in a spread in high school over a more conventional offense or vice-versa.

"They have to adjust, good running backs can adjust," Chryst said. "I don't spend much time thinking about all that because it doesn't matter. It's who you got, coach them up."


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