CO-OC Chad Scott's Evaluation of Each Running Back on the WVU Roster

Things are looking much better in the WVU backfield.
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West Virginia running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator Chad Scott met with the media on Monday to discuss how spring ball is going and how each of his running backs is progressing. 

Leddie Brown (Senior)

"We know what he can do running the football. The biggest thing we want to improve on with him is just his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, which he did well. I'm talking more so being able to line up outside as a receiver and create some mismatches because he's got great ball skills. And then just his understanding of some little things that can help take his game to the next level

Tony Mathis Jr. (R-Sophomore)

"His first two runs, I almost anticipated that happening. He was really eager to have that first opportunity to go out there in a live situation where it really matters. He didn't look good on the first run. It was an opportunity for him to hit a big one but he did something that was freshman-like and it didn't happen. Then, there was a short-yardage situation where he fell down in the backfield. After getting those jitters out, he did some stuff that was really great to see. I've seen glimpses of it but to see him do it repeatedly play after play was really good. [Pressing blocks] has become one of his strengths. It was not one of his strengths before. Now from this point, it's about stacking consistency doing that."

A'varius Sparrow (Sophomore)

"That was his best practice since he's been here - the other day. He's got phenomenal speed but playing the running back position we tell him all the time if you don't understand how to run the tracks and bring defenders to your blocks and have the ability to one-cut. He had a bad habit of chopping his feet to change direction and at this level, if you chop your feet as opposed to one-cut to change direction, that defense closes on you fast. Saturday was his first time doing it over a complete practice. If he can do that for us, have a one-cut ability to change direction with his speed....that's huge."

Incoming freshmen Jaylen Anderson & Justin Johnson Jr. 

"Those guys are so gifted coming out of high school that some of the things that we teach, they actually do instinctively. Watching both of those guys, they do a lot of things naturally that I teach, so it will be a transition for them but more so from a pass game and route running standpoint than it will be from the run game. The biggest adjustment will be to get those guys to understand how to frame and finish to the block. That's going to be something that's different for them and that takes time. Assuming those guys being elite-level running backs, it won't take much time as it would as someone that is not as elite as those two."

Walk-on Markquan Rucker

"He's done some really good things in this camp. It's funny last year they used to call him dead-leg Ruck. He had this big stride and he struggled to run in between the tackles because he had this big stride. He was only really effective during one on one's where he'd take this big one stick cut and cut back. We talked and said you know, for you to be an effective running back you've got to shorten your strides so you'll be able to change direction in the tackle box. He's done that and I've been really impressed with how the kid has caught on and what it's done, it's given him a lot of confidence and he's becoming a factor on special teams."

Walk-on Owen Chafin 

"He's doing really well as well. He knows what he's doing and he's getting some opportunities on special teams as well. I'm really pleased with both of those guys. They both understand the importance to know the role on this football team and maximize it. Particularly in the area of special teams."

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