The Owls finished their second week of Spring Practice at Howard Schnellenberger Field for the first time this Saturday afternoon, with the running backs displaying an impressive showing to the fans who attended the open session.
One example was redshirt freshman Keyvon Walker smoothly making his way to the end-zone untouched on the final drive of the day.
Below is a quick glance at the makeup of the position for the Spring.
Key Returners: Larry McCammon III (Sr. 5-11, 204), Zuberi Mobley (R-Soph. 5-10, 196), Marvin Scott III (Jr. 5-9, 205), Glover Cook III (R-Jr. 6-1, 190), Robert Armes (Sr. 5-9, 190), Keyvon Walker (R-Fr. 5-9, 185).
Key Losses: Johnny Ford, Kelvin Dean Jr.
Newcomers: Kobe Lewis (Gr. 5-10, 220 - Transfer/Purdue), Gemari Sands (Recruit/Aquinas, won't join the team until the fall)
Head coach Tom Herman was available to media to reflect on the improvements the team made since the first week of practice.
"We're developing some good habits I saw, but we've got to handle adversity better," said Herman. "We've got a bunch of guys out there that want to blame, complain, defend when things don't go right, instead of reloading and going to line up so we're getting there. There's less of those guys today than there were when we started and we'll continue to learn how to do that."
With day six of spring practice now over, here is the sixth of our parliament Owl position previews, beginning with three names from the running backs, and some notes from today's media availability.
- Expected to Lead Larry McCammon III: McCammon III (photo below) stands out as the leader of the group. He has an astounding 2022 campaign putting up a career-high 1004 rushing yards for seven touchdowns on 194 carries. His best performance came in the season finale against Western Kentucky when he scored two touchdowns and had a season-high 127 yards on 16 carries. His reliability and efficiency as the Owls' first option garnered him C-USA First Team honors, so it is likely he remains at the top of the depth chart.
- Keep An Eye On Kobe Lewis: Lewis (pictured below) is worthy of the attention Herman gave him to join the Owls transferring from Purdue. He appeared in 13 games for the Boilermakers getting 43 carries for a total of 146 yards, also making seven catches for 56 yards and six kick returns for 92 yards. Getting a talented running back from the Big 10, the Owls could see Lewis compete for the top spot in the rotation. Coming next would be Zuberi Mobley. Mobley (pictured top left) played in all 12 games for the Owls finishing with 534 yards for three touchdowns on 101 carries, making major improvements from his 2021 campaign where he only made two cameos. Despite the Owls adding talent in the running back unit with Lewis, Mobley will enjoy a portion of reps at the position and offer breakaway capabilities.
- Dark Horse Candidate Keyvon Walker: Walker would be on the outside looking in. He rode the Owls' bench throughout the 2022 season coming from Dillard High School. He was successful during his time there by winning four straight district titles (2016-19) with the Panthers as his career was guided by Dillard alum and head coach Eddie Frasier, who passed away in 2020. It will be tough working up the ranks against the other running backs in the group, but Walker could have a chance to catch the eyes of the coaches if he does well throughout Spring Practice.
OwlBytes for March 25th
- Missing The Ford Engine Head coach Tom Herman has confirmed that running back Johnny Ford is no longer with the program. Ford leaves the team after two seasons putting up 966 yards for six touchdowns on 172 carries. Despite his departure, Herman is confident in the Owls' depth at the position with Larry McCammon III and Zuberi Mobley while adding Purdue transfer Kobe Lewis into the mix. "All those guys can give you something when they get in there," Herman said.
- The Coaching Trio The running backs will have a lot of attention be paid to them with offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, running backs coach Chris Perkins (pictured above), and offensive line coach and run game coordinator Ed Warinner working together to enhance the position. Herman sees the running game as the key to having a balanced offense. "A balanced offense to me does not mean we're throwing 40 times and running 40 times; a balanced offense means we're going to be able to win the game offensively the way the defense dictates that we win," he said.
Head coach Tom Herman headlines Video Play.
Taking a break for the remainder of the weekend, the team will be back on the field for Tuesday's session to begin the third week of Spring Practice.