The Pineville running game will see some familiar faces this season as the Mountain Lions return two senior running backs. Brad Fuson and Robbie Miller both return to the backfield with Fuson carrying the majority of the load last season.
“We have some big backs,” said coach Bart Elam. “We have backs that run really hard.”
Elam said his team will be diverse overall due to the amount of talent at the skill positions, but they are still planning to attack on the ground.
“We’re going to try and take advantage of some more power running stuff, but probably in a spread set because we are pretty good as far as skill kids go,” said Elam. “They’re (Fuson and Miller) big backs that have average speed, but they’re game is really in between the tackles.”
Also returning to the backfield is sophomore Lawrence Simpson. Elam explained that unlike the previously mentioned backs, Simpson is more of a speed option.
“Lawrence is a little bit different,” said the coach. “He’s more of a smaller, speedster kid.”
All three backs will have an extensive amount of playing time on the field this season with the offense that Pineville runs.
Elam praised all three running backs for their performance last year. Fuson led the team in rushing yards, while injures limited Miller’s playing time. Simpson also had an impressive showing in his freshman season.
During the offseason, the running backs have been working on getting better at reading running lanes.
“They’ve been in the system for a while, especially those two seniors,” said Elam. “They know as far pass and things like that.”
Improving lateral speed is another thing that the backs have been focusing on.
“We’ve been trying to get quicker laterally,” said Elam in reference to the running backs. “We’ve been trying to get faster as far as seeing cutbacks and having better field vision.”
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN