SMU Running Backs Pre-Season Review

In the run and shoot offense of June Jones, many Southern Methodist University football fans are wondering how much run will be involved in the new offensive system. PonyStampede.com recently caught up with new running back coach Wes Suan to discuss the responsibility of his players in the new system.

In the run and shoot offense of June Jones, many Southern Methodist University football fans are wondering how much run will be involved in the new offensive system.

PonyStampede.com recently caught up with new running back coach Wes Suan to discuss the responsibility of his players in the new system.

"We have 1-11 of the responsibility, if we do our job then we are that much closer to making sure our offense is successful," Coach Suan said. "Our guys will get somewhere between 25 to 35 touches a game, that will include screen plays and dump off passes."

In the run and shoot system, the one back in the backfield has multiple responsibilities, including pass protecting, running the football and being a receiver when needed. Suan has been preparing his guys by teaching the new offensive system and going back to some basic fundamentals of the position.

"My main focus is the scheme in general and breaking it down to the finer points," Suan said. "We have exposed them to the entire package this spring. We will continue to build on that during fall camp, making sure we have everything down before our first game."

Physical tools is just one needed ingredient to play running back in this system. According to Suan, heart and desire plays a major role.

"Our guys must pay a lot of attention to all the little things, every detail," Suan said. "They must have a lot of desire and want to, my guys here at SMU have a lot of that."

Suan is use to having bigger backs at Hawaii, the veteran coach laughed when asked to describe the perfect size for a running back in this package.

"He would be 6-foot-6, 250-pounds and run a 4.5," said Suan. "I know that's not hard to find."

While Suan may not have that size at SMU, there are two pretty good size backs in their own right.

Seniors DeMyron Martin and Andrew McKinney bring some size to the Mustang stable of runners. Martin is listed at 6-foot-2, 230-pounds and McKinney is listed at 6-foot-4, 265-pounds.

Martin and McKinney has both impressed Suan.

"DeMyron has been fantastic," Suan said. "This offense will enhance his God given abilities. He has adjusted and made himself a better player."

"Andrew brings toughness to the position," Suan said. "He is an aggressive learner, a big strong guy who loves the game."

Suan enjoyed the spring with his new team and was impressed with their attitude and work ethic.

"It was an easy transition," Suan said. "The guys are so hungry to get rid of a 1-11 season. They are so ready to win now. The willingness on their part and their great attitudes has been a pleasant surprise."

Suan's goal this fall for his group of runners is simple.

"If we can execute 100% efficiency on our screens and passes, we will be successful," Suan said. "Our guys need to take advantage of every time they touch the football. Our offense sets up the run, when they call our number we need to have an explosive big play."

Martin and McKinney aren't the only two seniors that Suan is counting on for leadership.

Jessie Henderson is another senior, according to Suan, Henderson will be a change of pace guy for the Mustangs.

"He is quick and explosive," Turner said. "He has some great moves, some of the best I have seen in my nine years as a D1 coach."

Chris Butler adds youth and stamina to the position.

"Chris is a young every play type of guy," Suan said. "Ben Goldthorpe and Travis DeJohn are two other younger guys. I have six guys that can contribute to what we are doing."

No incoming freshmen are expected to see action at the running back position, with three seniors on the roster, expect the Mustangs to look to sign one or two quality backs in this upcoming class.

Suan, who has coached nine years at Hawaii for June Jones, feels that the Mustangs have the tools to win now.

"We have all the pieces of the puzzle to be successful now," Suan said "It's up to us to put it all together. It was easy for me to leave Hawaii, I knew wherever June went is where I wanted to go. He is a great friend and even better head coach to work for."


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