Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Backup running back remains in flux

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One of the biggest questions during training camp was whether Jonas Gray could develop into a reliable compliment to Cierre Wood at running back. Although coach Brian Kelly said Gray has performed well thus far, his role remains in flux, making it likely both freshmen running backs George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel will also get carries. 

"Cierre is our featured back," Kelly said. "Jonas will play in times where we believe Cierre needs a blow. Jonas has a role and that role expands based upon his production, quite frankly. 

"He's had a great camp. I'm real pleased with what he has done. He's going to have to take advantage of his opportunities when he gets them. That will dictate as he moves forward how much playing time Jonas gets. Right now, he's going to give Cierre a blow. We're confident in his ability. He'll get more reps and playing time as he produces. 

As for the freshman, Atkinson has better breakaway speed while McDaniel is a more physical runner.

"Each one of them has their own unique qualities right now as they both grow and learn," Kelly said.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on August 23, 2011 1:04 PM.

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