If you are one of the fans that has been concerned about WVU’s running game this season, stop worrying. It will very likely be better than last season.
Yes, I know WVU lost Dreamius Smith, Dustin Garrison and Andrew Buie, but these guys have been replaced with Jacky Marcellus, Donte Thomas-Williams, and Eli Wellman.
While Marcellus has that twitch that coaches and fans like to see, Donte and Eli will bowl you over. Now you add the likes of one of the best running backs in the nation in Wendell Smallwood, plus add in Rushel Shell and you have a group of running backs that will challenge defenses and that will excite fans.
Smallwood is not only a huge threat at running back, he is equally dangerous at slot receiver. Holgorsen compares him to former WVU RB Charles Sims who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After the Gold-Blue Scrimmage, Holgorsen said that Donte considers himself the best running back on the team. From what I saw of him in the Gold-Blue Scrimmage, he could be telling the truth. The thing I like about Donte is that he runs behind his pads, and will take on defenders with his shoulders. Donte is a downhill runner.
You add Donte in with Smallwood and then bring in Marcellus with his quick twitch and route changing ability, and I see 3 very talented, very athletic running backs. Donte is the better power runner of the group due to his speed, but don’t count out Eli when hard yards need to be made for Eli is more than an excellent blocker, he is also a power runner who does not mind sticking his head into the line and moving it.
I really like what I see from this group of running backs, and if the OL can pick-up its game, look out. This group of running backs with their talent will definitely be a handful for any defense.
What impresses me the most with Marcellus is his ability to stop on a dime and change direction. This kid reminds me a little of Tavon Austin with his quick twitch and direction changing ability. He can also stiff arm a defender. Moving Marcellus from receiver to running back was good for the WVU offense and Marcellus. I see this guy giving defenses fits in 2015.
Though WVU did not land a running back in 2015, there is no doubt in my mind that is one of the best group of running backs I’ve seen at WVU in some time. They are talented, athletic and skilled, and very dangerous once they get the ball in their hands.