Louisville football’s offense doesn’t change with either of its top two running backs.
Offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford says either of the running backs can do what Louisville wants scheme-wise for a team that ranked 24th nationally in rushing offense.
“They’re very dynamic, they can both do a lot with the ball in their hands,” Ledford said. “If one back comes out, you aren’t restricted part of the offense or a certain place.”
In their second year of head coach Scott Satterfield’s offense, Hawkins and Hall are more comfortable with the scheme according to Ledford. He said the pair of running backs have taken a leadership role this offseason.
“Just to see guys continue to work and push themselves, not being content on what happened last season and wanting to continue to come out and improve,” Ledford said.
Although they can both produce, Hawkins and Hall have different styles as running backs.
At 5-foot-9, 196 pounds, Hawkins has garnered plenty of preseason accolades heading into this fall. He had the third-most rushing yards by a freshman in ACC history last year.
Ledford has emphasized that Hawkins runs “with a chip on his shoulder” and carries the ball like a bigger back.
Hawkins surpassed 100 rushing yards in eight games last season.
“It’s his ability to build a change direction and not lose speed at all,” Ledford said. “He is able to get in and out of a cut as fast as I've seen a person and he's got great speed.”
Hall, who ranked fourth in the nation with a 30.5 yards average on kick returns last season, has more size than Hawkins, running with a 6-foot, 204-pound frame.
Hall utilizes his speed as a larger running back.
“Hassan Hall is a big back, but when you’re saying a big back, he is fast,” Ledford said. “The clip from Miami comes to mind last year when we handed off the ball and you see him split the defense on a very fast defense.”
Hall had a career-long 58-yard touchdown against Miami last November, one of six games that he rushed for over 50 yards.
The two running backs work in tandem as they prepare for this season.
“They look out for each other and they push each other,” Ledford said. “They're fun to watch on the field for sure.”
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