Yesterday's post about the quarterbacks & spring practice got us thinking it might be a good idea to take a look at every position on the team & where we stand heading into spring football. If nothing else, it will give us a point of reference after spring ball is over & we can see how things have changed. Today we'll take a look at the B-backs:
- Anthony Allen (RS Senior/6'0", 225): the presumptive starter at B-back after Dwyer's departure. Led the nation in yards-per-carry last season from his A-back slot at 9.66. Has the natural size & disposition to play B-back. Bruising downhill runner who loves to initiate contact. Might not have the break-away speed of Dwyer but maybe a tougher inside runner. Very strong after contact. Knows the playbook & will simply have to work on the mesh. Not much if any drop-off from Dwyer.
- Preston Lyons (Tr. Junior/ 6'0, 215): the transfer from Colgate performed admirably well after sitting out a season. A veteran of the offense having run it in high school, Lyons is a shifty runner in traffic who is tough to tackle & always seems to get yards. While he's not a dynamic, physical presence, Lyons is able to turn in the hole & generally gain chunks of positive yardage. It might not always look pretty, but he's effective & that's what counts. Too many people shrug off the value of a player like Lyons. Great teams have good depth & Lyons is a perfect example of that. He can come in for a play or two or even a series & keep the chains moving; an invaluable resource to a championship team. He's also a special teams contributor. Lyons recently has shoulder surgery & will miss spring practice as he rehabs.
- Daniel Drummond (RS freshman/ 6'3", 255): certainly looks terrific getting off the bus & I'm not slamming him as a player. A huge, impressive physical specimen. Incredibly strong & powerful. Adequate speed but he's a bus; not really going to make anybody miss. Needs to work on footwork & agility. Certainly has the frame to take a pounding & punish defenses.
- Richard Watson (RS sophomore/ 6'1", 225): very nice combination of size & speed. Powerful runner with some agility. Watson's biggest problem seems to be the injury bug; he's rarely been healthy since he's been at Tech. A healthy spring camp might propel him up the chart.
- Charles Perkins (freshman/ 6'0", 210): Perkins is enrolled in school currently & will go through spring ball with what I believe is a chance to play as a true freshman. A decisive runner with a very good combination of size & speed, if Perkins proves he can learn the offense & take the punishment he'll have a chance to contribute this year. One thing to note: B-back is a much easier position to learn than A-back. A-backs must learn a variety of blocking schemes (arc, load) against a variety of different fronts (4-3, 3-4, 50, shade, etc...) and be able to read them at the line of scrimmage; no small feat for a true freshman. B-backs are much more limited it what they need to know & the most important skill, the QB mesh, is learned more through repetition than anything else. Perkins will have a chance to work on this during the fall.
So that's the scoop on the B-backs as I see it. Don't be surprised to see Perkins contribute this year; he's a baller. Losing Dwyer will hurt us but we have plenty of talent at B-back & I don't expect a major drop-off this season. We'll be sure & update the depth chart & give some more unwanted analysis after spring practice...