Florida has relied heavily on their running game for the last two seasons due to the lack of play from the Wide Receivers. Hopefully, with Kurt Roper coming in, Florida will become more of a balanced offense, and the Gators will be strayed away from being one-dimensional.
But we’re still going to need a good running game, and here are 4 guys that I think will contribute:
Just to recap on Matt Jones in his sophomore campaign, Jones got off to a slow start when he was diagnosed with a viral infection heading in to Fall camp in 2013. He didn’t see the field until he went to Miami in week 2, and he had a dismal performance. He wasn’t 100 percent in Coral Gables, and he seemed to not be 100% for the rest of the season. At LSU, Matt Jones ended his season with a torn meniscus and watched Kelvin Taylor shine for the rest of the season.
With the emergence of Kelvin Taylor, I expect Matt Jones to get less caries than he did last season. I still expect him to see the field often because of his ability to run north and south and blast right through the gap to get yards.
I would really like to see him used in 3rd down and short situations because someone that is 6’3 230 pounds will be very hard to bring down.
When Matt Jones went down with his torn meniscus against LSU, Kelvin Taylor really showed flashes to Gator Nation. KT really shined when the Gators took a trip to Columbia and played South Carolina, where he rushed for 100 yards and 2 touch downs in the first half against the number one draft pick in the NFL, Jadeveon Clowney.
With Kelvin Taylor healthy and 100 percent, I think he will get majority of the carries because of his agility and his ability to make cuts and turn up the field for positive yards. This could be Kelvin’s coming out party and this season could show NFL scouts that he can follow in his father’s (Fred Taylor) footsteps to the NFL.
Many people have him as a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy, and I really don’t think that is a stretch. With this balanced and new up-tempo offense, I feel like Kelvin will be very versatile in the open field.
Florida has a lot of youth in the back field and Mack Brown provides the senior leadership that the Gators need.
One thing that I really love about Mack Brown is a team player and he is willing to come off of the bench. With that being said, Mack only averaged 2.3 yards a carry in 2013. You can blame it on the dismal offensive line that we had on the field, but in all honesty, Mack Brown just doesn’t have that wow factor to get out into the open field. However, he does provide a smash-mouth physical down hill running game for the Gators, and he is not afraid to run someone over.
I’m expecting Mack to see as many carries as Matt Jones, and I expect him to see some 3rd down plays as well.
After watching Lane in high school, I can tell you first hand that this kid will be a stud for Florida in the future. With a frame like NFL running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, Lane is so low to the ground and he is very hard to bring down.
Though I don’t think we will see him a lot this season, do not be surprised if you see Roper use him inside the red zone. Like Matt Jones and Mack Brown, Adam Lane is running back that will be very tough to bring down.
Florida fans should be excited for this kids future.