Who's going to join Orwin at A-Back this fall?
34 Days Til' Kickoff!!
Check out yesterday's post on Quarterbacks!
Similar to our Quarterbacks, on offense our A-Backs are marked by certainty AND uncertainty. The certainty: Orwin Smith will be starting. Seeing as he's a returning starter and far-and-away our best A-Back, I feel comfortable guaranteeing you that, barring injury or committing a felony, he will be a few feet to Tevin's left or right on their first snap in Blacksburg. Now, as far as who will join him? This is where the water gets very murky.
First, there are your "incumbents" so to speak -- players who have spent seasons past listed at A-Back. This currently includes Tony Zenon, BJ Bostic, Broderick Snoddy, Robert Godhigh, and Deon Hill. If I had to pick three who I think get playing time, I'd take Zenon, Bostic, and Godhigh, simply based on who I've read most about. Johnson has gone on the record as saying that whoever blocks the best will play, and with none of those guys weighing as much as 190lbs, I'm going to assume that he's not looking for someone who will put linemen on their asses so much as linebackers and safeties on their faces. However, let's just say that I don't think there's any guarantee one of these three will be starting just yet. Remember that uncertainty thing?
Yeah, the whole uncertainty deal comes into play when we look at folks who have yet to be listed as A-Backs. First there's the freshman Dennis Andrews, who was recruited as a QB before agreeing to switch to AB in spring practice (and I think it's a result of him playing a little bit there and really opening some eyes). Watching his progression will be interesting. Then, as mentioned yesterday, it's looking more and more as though Synjyn Days will be making a move from Quarterback to A-Back. I'd really like this move, as he's a good runner with solid size (6'2", 215lbs) that would make for a good blocker on the edge. Another who could be looking at a move or some possible cross-training is Charles Perkins, who's had issues getting time on the field at B-Back but has been acknowledged by Coach Johnson as having "too much talent to be riding the bench". Perkins is similar to Days in being a good ballcarrier (his high school film is very impressive) while also having solid size (6', 220lbs) that could be very valuable on the outside. At this point, I'm really hoping to see Days or Perkins see significant time on the field to see how their "bigger A-Back" nature compliments Orwin's presence on the field as compared to the smaller guys like Zenon and Bostic. There's a lot more smoke concerning Days but I wouldn't feel shocked to see Perkins at A-Back as well.
Here's the takeaway:
1) Orwin's starting. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST FOLKS.
2) The other starter is still TBD and may not necessarily be someone we've seen already at A-Back.
3) We have a lot of options as far as guys of different sizes and skill sets to use in whatever capacity we find them most helpful in.
Who do you think ends up flanking Tevin along with Orwin this fall? You want a bigger guy or a smaller guy? Think this will be a position of strength or weakness? Talk to me, folks. Let's hear those thoughts.