As the SU quarterbacks compete for the starting position in SU's game against Penn State in the fall, the running backs are also competing, but in a different way.
Last season, the Orange used a variety of running backs in their offensive attack, as Jerome Smith (227 car. 1207 yds 3 TDs), Prince-Tyson Gulley (132 car. 642 yds 7 TDs) and Adonis Ameen-Moore (30 car. 111 yds 5 TDs) all were an important piece of SU's running game.
While Prince-Tyson Gulley sits out of spring practice due to injury, Ameen-Moore and Smith have picked up where they left off, running well in scrimmages. They have been joined by two sophomores, George Morris III and Devante McFarlane, both of which are turning heads, especially the head coach Scott Shafer, who spoke about the running backs performance after their scrimmage on Sunday.
"I liked some of McFarlane's runs, he has some really good vision, which was exciting for me to see watching from the back end behind the offense," Coach Shafer says. "I thought George [Morris] had some good plays as well as Jerome [Smith] too."
As the running back who took the bulk of the carries last season, Smith says he is impressed with sophomores Morris and McFarlane.
"The younger guys, man they do a good job at doing both [power and speed]," Smith, who is a senior, says. "You've seen Devante [McFarlane], he's fast, he's shifty, and he's powerful. George [Morris] is strong and fast. I'm the only guy right now with the one skill."
Smith laughed when saying he had only one skill, and said he is enjoying the competition the younger players are bringing to the position group.
"One guy will go get a 20-yard run and the next guy will break off for a 30-yard run. We want to always compete with each other and keep it that way, that way we all play well," Smith says.
Another sophomore running back, Ashton Broyld, showed some sparks early on in spring practice, but was recently injured.
Coach Shafer says he hopes the strong running back presence in the backfield will help whoever is under center in the fall.