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Position Preview (and updates) - Running Back


catdaddyp

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The running game has been somewhat of an afterthought during most of Moorhead’s tenure . Perhaps more emphasis will be placed on running the ball in 2024.

 

 

Jordan Simmons - [Redshirt Junior, New] - (5.7) 3 ️ (HS) / (5.5) 3 ️ (Portal) - Grad Transfer from Michigan State. Simmons exhibits excellent vision and is a patient runner. He has a strong burst when hitting the hole and will run through arm tackles. Simmons does not have the top end speed of Lingard, but should collect his fair share of explosive plays in 2024. Simmons was the starting running back in the 2024 spring game and had the most explosive play from any of RBs.
 

Charles Kellom - [Redshirt Sophomore, Returning] - (5.2) 2 ️ - Kellom has flashed a blend of explosive ability and shiftiness in his limited playing time on offense. He was a key special teams contributor last year playing in 11 games, but played minimal snaps on offense. Kellom was the top backup during the 2024 Spring Game. He should collect his fair share of snaps on offense this coming season. HS FILM * Star Rating Take: TBD

 

Marquese Williams - [Redshirt Freshman, New] - (5.7) 3 ️ HS / (5.6) 3 ️ Portal - Transfer from Minnesota. Williams was a high producer in HS and had multiple P5 offers. He is elusive and also a receiving threat out of the backfield. Williams did not see the field at Minnesota, though he should push for snaps this season. Williams was not overly impressive during the 2024 spring game and will need to display some improvement before stealing snaps from Simmons and Kellom. HS FILM. *

 

Sean Patrick - [Freshman, New] - (5.4) 2 ️ - Patrick is extremely shifty in the open field and understands how to press angles. He has a knack for making defenders miss with subtle movements. Patrick may not have elite speed, but his excellent feet and elusiveness in the open field makes up for it. Patrick was not enrolled for the 2024 spring game. HS FILM *

 

Fahrell Freeman - [Freshman, New] - NR - Walk-on. HS FILM *

 

Luke Reed - [Freshman, New] - NR - Walk-on. HS FILM *

 

 

 

Replacing Lingard will be a tough task in 2024. That said, this room is deep. It was likely that one or two of the returning players would transfer out and it ended up being CJ Price and Blake Hester. Expect Simmons and Kellom to receive the bulk of snaps at running back this year. 
 

 

Scholarship Players:

Jordan Simmons

Charles Kellom

Marquese Williams

Sean Patrick
 

 

Added:

Jordan Simmons

Marquese Williams

Sean Patrick

 

Removed:

(5.5) 3 ️ (TP) - Lorenzo Lingard - Graduation.

(5.4) 2 ️ (HS) - Drake Anderson - Graduation.

(5.4) 2 ️ (TP) - CJ Price - TP = Jackson State

(5.4) 2 ️ (TP) - Blake Hester - TP

Removed Before 2023 Season:

(5.5) 3 ️ - Cam Wiley = West Texas A&M (DII) - NR - Star Rating Take: (5.3) 2 ️ 

(5.4) 2 ️ - Jonzell Norrils = Old Dominican (DII) - NR - Star Rating Take: (5.3) 2 ️ 

NR - Anthony Stallworth - TP? - Star Rating Take: (5.2) 2 ️ 

NR - Dae’Vontay Latimer - TP? - Walk-on

 

 

 

Edited by catdaddyp
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3 hours ago, catdaddyp said:

Running back seems to be the strength of the offense heading into the 2022 season. There is a mixture of abilities that coach Moorhead should be able to utilize to his advantage.

 

Jonzell Norrils - Leading rusher from 2021 and sits atop the depth chart. He possesses a blend of speed and power, sees the field well, and exhibits a strong burst when hitting the hole. Norrils also demonstrates solid hands when catching the ball out of the backfield. Pass pro is adequate, but could improve.

 

Anthony Williams Jr. - Displays a fluid stride coupled with speed. Williams could end up being a weapon in Moorhead’s offense as he can produce yardage by both running and catching the ball. We may see him positioned in other places than just the backfield in 2022.

 

Blake Hester - Smaller back with some speed. Shows a fair amount of shiftiness and vision in the open field. If he can continue to add mass, he’ll be an asset in the run game as a change of pace back.

 

Cameron Wiley - Transfer from Minnesota. Wiley was a backup for the Gophers who flashed at times. He displays patience, vision, and power when running the ball and could develop into an every down back. He may not turn into an all conference player, but should give the running game more production.

 

Charles Kellom - Reads the cutback lanes well and runs hard. Solid athlete that flashes an impressive vertical leap and excellent balance. It’s always good to recruit the home state and Kellom will add immediate depth to the RB position.

 

Dae’Vontay Latimer - In-state back that runs hard and sports a nice sized frame. He’ll provide depth and could grow into a short yardage back.

 

 

There are positions that are hurting for high quality depth, but running back isn’t one of them. 

 

With a new scheme in place, will the OL create enough space for the backs to be consistently successful in 2022?

Last year, RB started as a position of strength, but it went down hill fast.   The serious fans remember the details with the arrest and dropouts.  So, I am not yet calling this a position of strength until we get into the season with no casualties.  

 

Norrils - I really like his running, even out of high school.  However, he got in the dog house last year for whatever reason and played little to none in several games.  He should be the lead RB starting the season.  He has good speed and power, and I like his inside running.  Although he is listed as a sophomore due to Covid, this will be his third year and a breakout year.  

 

Williams - I loved this transfer, but he did little to impress last year.  Hopefully, the new staff will turn him around.

 

Wiley - add depth, but he had little success at Minnesota.  He fills a position of need as a backup, but I am not expecting him to contribute much.

 

Kellom - As I have stated in other posts, I expect him to be great by his second year.  I saw Kareem Hunt play multiple times in high school at Willoughby South and college at Toledo, and I am hoping Kellom follows suit.  He has size, speed, shiftiness, and he sat out almost half of the second half of his senior games since they were skunking their opponents.  Let him get acclimated to college, and then let him take off.  

 

On first glance, we are set at this position pending no injuries or suspensions, but I thought the same thing last year.  

 

In Joe We Trust!!!!

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On 3/31/2022 at 8:25 PM, bigjim said:

Last year, RB started as a position of strength, but it went down hill fast.   The serious fans remember the details with the arrest and dropouts.  So, I am not yet calling this a position of strength until we get into the season with no casualties.  

 

Norrils - I really like his running, even out of high school.  However, he got in the dog house last year for whatever reason and played little to none in several games.  He should be the lead RB starting the season.  He has good speed and power, and I like his inside running.  Although he is listed as a sophomore due to Covid, this will be his third year and a breakout year.  

 

Williams - I loved this transfer, but he did little to impress last year.  Hopefully, the new staff will turn him around.

 

Wiley - add depth, but he had little success at Minnesota.  He fills a position of need as a backup, but I am not expecting him to contribute much.

 

Kellom - As I have stated in other posts, I expect him to be great by his second year.  I saw Kareem Hunt play multiple times in high school at Willoughby South and college at Toledo, and I am hoping Kellom follows suit.  He has size, speed, shiftiness, and he sat out almost half of the second half of his senior games since they were skunking their opponents.  Let him get acclimated to college, and then let him take off.  

 

On first glance, we are set at this position pending no injuries or suspensions, but I thought the same thing last year.  

 

In Joe We Trust!!!!

Add Price to the list.  Who will enter the transfer portal because the depth is too much?

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I predict we'll probably redshirt Kellom, leaving us with four young, legit D-1 caliber backs in Norrils, Williams, Wiley, and Price.

I'll take a stab at the depth chart:

1. Norrils (So.)

2. Price (R-So.?)

3. Williams (R-So.)

4. Wiley (R-So.)

 

Caveat: Blake Hester was a very serviceable replacement after our RB crew was decimated last season.  It'll be interesting to see if he's put on some weight during the offseason.  I can't see him being our #1, but with his hard, one-cut-and-go, north-south running I could see him taking the place of Williams (whom I thought was pretty underwhelming) and/or Wiley (who's awfully light for a 6-2 back).

 

And I know zilch about Dae'Vontay Latimer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had heard from someone that Cam Wiley looked an awful lot bigger than his listed 180.  Well, this article states Cam is 6-2, 215 (with breakaway speed!).  Now that's more like it!  I was worried about a RB who was 6-2, but only 180.  215?  Now we're talking!  

 

Go Zips!

Edited by Blue & Gold
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3 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

I had heard from someone that Cam Wiley looked an awful lot bigger than his listed 180.  Well, this article states Cam is 6-2, 215 (with breakaway speed!).  Now that's more like it!  I was worried about a RB who was 6-2, but only 180.  215?  Now we're talking!  

 

Go Zips!

Wiley definitely looks bigger than 180lbs in the clips we’ve seen. What I can’t grasp is the difference in the reported weights. It’s not just 5 or 10 pounds we’re talking about, but 35lbs gained in one offseason?

 

Regardless, I’m excited to see how this group performs in 2022.

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On 3/31/2022 at 4:38 PM, catdaddyp said:

Running back seems to be the strength of the offense heading into the 2022 season. There is a mixture of abilities that coach Moorhead should be able to utilize to his advantage.

 

Jonzell Norrils - (Sophomore, Returning) - Leading rusher from 2021 and sits atop the depth chart. He possesses a blend of speed and power, sees the field well, and exhibits a strong burst when hitting the hole. Norrils also demonstrates solid hands when catching the ball out of the backfield. Pass pro is adequate, but could improve.

 

Anthony Williams Jr. - (Redshirt Sophomore, Returning) - Former Michigan State transfer that displays a fluid stride coupled with speed. Williams could end up being a weapon in Moorhead’s offense as he can produce yardage by both running and catching the ball. We may see him positioned in other places than just the backfield in 2022.

 

Blake Hester - (Sophomore, Returning) - Smaller back with some speed. Shows a fair amount of shiftiness and vision in the open field. If he can continue to add mass, he’ll be an asset in the run game as a change of pace back.

 

Cameron Wiley - (Redshirt Sophomore, New) - Transfer from Minnesota. Wiley was a backup for the Gophers who flashed at times. He displays patience, vision, and power when running the ball and could develop into an every down back. He may not turn into an all conference player, but should give the running game more production.

 

Charles Kellom - (Freshman, New) - Reads the cutback lanes well and runs hard. Solid athlete that flashes an impressive vertical leap and excellent balance. It’s always good to recruit the home state and Kellom will add immediate depth to the RB position.

 

Dae’Vontay Latimer - (Sophomore, Returning) - In-state back that runs hard and sports a nice sized frame. He’ll provide depth and could grow into a short yardage back.

 

Clyde “CJ” Price - (Junior ?, New) - Transfer from Kansas state. Price is not participating in spring ball and will arrive at a later date. He flaunts a blend of power and speed and is best suited in a downhill rushing attack. When running between the tackles, Price excels at planting, one cut, and then getting north in a hurry - often running through arm tackles. He should push for playing time immediately and makes an already deep running back group more versatile.

 

 

There are positions that are hurting for high quality depth, but running back isn’t one of them. 

 

With a new scheme in place, will the OL create enough space for the backs to be consistently successful in 2022?

 

Price’s addition begs the question, will a running back transfer out? There’s only one ball and so many carries to go around. 
 


Edited with the addition of CJ Price.

 

 

 

 

Bump for the addition of Price.

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5 minutes ago, Blue & Gold said:

I've heard/read Cam Wiley's name a handful of times now (articles, videos).  There seems to be a little buzz about him.  Saturday it'll be interesting to see if he lines up as our #1 RB.

Agreed. It seems like every video clip that’s been produced has Wiley in there somewhere. From all the reactions on twitter and the types of recruits that are visiting, it’s clear that Moorhead has something brewing. I’m trying to find a way to make it to the SG, but I don’t know if it’ll happen. I sent a message to the official twitter account if the game would be televised or streamed by the school, but haven’t received a response. I’m going to email someone in the athletics department the same question. If smaller DII schools can stream games, it would seem like Akron would as well.

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1 hour ago, catdaddyp said:

Agreed. It seems like every video clip that’s been produced has Wiley in there somewhere. From all the reactions on twitter and the types of recruits that are visiting, it’s clear that Moorhead has something brewing. I’m trying to find a way to make it to the SG, but I don’t know if it’ll happen. I sent a message to the official twitter account if the game would be televised or streamed by the school, but haven’t received a response. I’m going to email someone in the athletics department the same question. If smaller DII schools can stream games, it would seem like Akron would as well.

In years past they've (sometimes?) had a Spring Game radio broadcast.  I think they dropped that since Arth never had an actual scrimmage Spring Game.  I don't exactly remember; that's been a while ago now.  You'd think it'd be awfully simple to just stick a student in the press box & stream it on YouTube.

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On 3/31/2022 at 4:38 PM, catdaddyp said:

Running back seems to be the strength of the offense heading into the 2022 season. There is a mixture of abilities that coach Moorhead should be able to utilize to his advantage.

 

Jonzell Norrils - (Sophomore, Returning) - Leading rusher from 2021 and sat atop the depth chart going into spring. Norrils now has serious competition coming out of the spring. He possesses a blend of speed and power, sees the field well, and exhibits a strong burst when hitting the hole. Norrils also demonstrates solid hands when catching the ball out of the backfield. Pass pro is adequate, but could improve.

 

Anthony Williams Jr. - (Redshirt Sophomore, Returning) - Former Michigan State transfer that displays a fluid stride coupled with speed. Williams could end up being a weapon in Moorhead’s offense as he can produce yardage by both running and catching the ball. We may see him positioned in other places than just the backfield this coming season. Williams looked impressive as a receiver coming out of the backfield in the spring game. He will likely be a playmaker in 2022.

 

Blake Hester - (Sophomore, Returning) - Smaller back with upper end speed. Hester shows a fair amount of shiftiness and vision in the open field. He looked explosive as a receiver out of the backfield in the spring game.

 

Cameron Wiley - (Redshirt Sophomore, New) - Transfer from Minnesota. Wiley was a backup for the Gophers who flashed at times. He displays patience, vision, and power when running the ball and could develop into an every down back. Wiley is pushing for the top running back spot coming out of the spring. His lower body strength stood out as he flashed the ability to run through arm tackles in the spring game.

 

Charles Kellom - (Freshman, New) - Reads the cutback lanes well and runs hard. Solid athlete that flashes an impressive vertical leap and excellent balance. Kellom will add immediate depth to the RB position, but with Wiley, Williams, Norrils, and Hester ahead of him, 2022 may be a redshirt year.

 

Dae’Vontay Latimer - (Sophomore, Returning) - In-state back that runs hard and sports a nice sized frame. He’ll provide depth and could grow into a short yardage back.


Anthony Stallworth - (Freshman, New) - Patient when running the ball. Stallworth can get up to his top speed quickly, but does not have elite speed. He displays some shiftiness and strength for his size, but didn’t seem to be playing against strong competition at the high school level. He’ll likely redshirt his freshman year, as this is a deep group.

 

Clyde “CJ” Price - (Redshirt Sophomore, New) - Transfer from Kansas state. Price is not participating in spring ball and will arrive at a later date. He flaunts a blend of power and speed and is best suited in a downhill rushing attack. When running between the tackles, Price excels at planting, one cut, and then getting north in a hurry - often running through arm tackles. He should push for playing time immediately and makes an already deep running back group more versatile.

 

 

 

This was a deep group going into the spring and will be even deeper with the addition of the new arrivals. After Norrils proved his worth in 2021, Wiley, Williams, and Hester have all displayed their play making abilities coming out of the spring. It’s possible all 3 may be a better fit for JoeMo’s offense than Norrils, but there is always a place on the roster for someone with Norril’s skill set. It’ll be interesting to see how the touches get divvied up this season.

 

Price’s addition begs the question, will a running back transfer out? There’s only one ball and so many carries to go around. 
 


Edit:

Added Anthony Stallworth 

Added CJ Price.

 

 

 

 

Bump for post spring update

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  • 2 months later...

I think this is a defining moment for Coach JoeMo.  It will show if coach values character and how he looks at a person's actions and how it might affect the position group and locker room.  Akron now has a good running back room with youth and experience.  To use a hillbilly quote:    

                                            "I would not touch him with a 10 foot pole"

 

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5 hours ago, 94zipgrad said:

What I’ve seen of him he is our best back & is a threat in the pass game

 

That's what got him booted off the team in the first place; he was out best back & a threat.

For those who appreciate irony; what got him booted off the team is no longer a crime in Ohio.

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https://www.toledoblade.com/sports/college/2022/08/01/former-central-catholic-rb-jonzell-norrils-making-a-name-for-himself-at-akron/stories/20220726016
 

Piece about Norrils from the Toledoblade. If it has a pop up about subscribing, just change to reader format by hitting the AA in the browser.

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