2018 Preview - RBs

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ST_Lawson
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Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:54 pm

Ok, so ignore what I said about getting these posted on Thursdays. My Thursdays have been busy the last few weeks, so maybe I'll just go with Fridays instead. Anyway, here's the RBs.

Seniors
#5 Steve McShane - 5’8”, 185lb
#34 Larry Harleston - 5’10”, 226lb
Jared Drake (transfer from Ohio State, rumored to be likely to play FB/Hybrid) - 6’0”, 225lb

Juniors
#36 Max Norris - 5’10”, 207lb

Sophomores
#9 Victavious Johnson - 5’11”, 210lb
#25 Clint Ratkovich - 6’1”, 210lb
#31 Josh Franke - 6’0”, 246lb

Player Photos
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Last Season
Sophomore Max Norris led the team with 656 net yards, an average of 5.6 per rush, 5 TDs and a per game average of 59.64 yards. Norris also caught 4 times for 24 yards.
Junior Steve McShane was a close second with 582 net yards, 4.2 ypr, 7 TDs and a 52.91 ypg average. McShane was the second-best receiver on the team, catching 31 times for 307 yards and 3 TDs
Our #3 rusher last year was actually WR Jaelon Acklin with 255 net yards and 4 TDs on the ground.
Senior Devon Sanders picked up 151 yards and 1 TD. R-Freshman Clint Ratkovich had 132 yards and 2 TDs as well as 144 yards and 2 TDs receiving (including one incredible catch in the end zone at Illinois State). R-Freshman Victavious Johnson had 40 net yards a 1 TD rushing.

This Season
In terms of running backs, we haven’t lost much from last year. I imagine that we’ll see quite a bit from both Norris and McShane again...probably relying on them a bit more this year unless we’re able to somehow find another surprise Acklin.
Transfer Jared Blake is, by the sounds of it, is planning on being a FB/Hybrid player. Not sure if the “hybrid” bit is more like a TE also, or what, but FB falls under the RB category, so I’m putting him in here. He will likely contribute as well.
I expect to see Ratkovich get on the field fairly often as well. He actually caught for more yards than he ran for last year, and is, like McShane, has really good hands for a RB, so can get in on some of those short-pass situations.
Outside of the TTU game (his “homecoming”) I wasn’t particularly impressed with Vic Johnson last year. I had high hopes for him being able to hit the field last year, but it didn’t really pan out much. Hopefully he can step things up this year and be a solid RB as well.
Larry Harleston was a walk-on transfer last year, while also transitioning from defense to offense. He played in 11 games, but was limited to special teams play last year. Harleston got some chances with the ball during the spring game also.
I pretty much have nothing to go on with regards to Josh Franke. He’s roughly the same size as Nikko Watson was when he played here, but Franke didn’t get on the field last year, so it sounds like he probably doesn’t have the same speed at this point...or at least didn’t last year.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:39 pm

RB seems to be our deepest position on the Offense. It will be interesting to see how Coach Elliott uses them, and if he'll adjust his play calling to match the talent here. Of course, this is all based on the assumption that we can block people with the new look O Line. Still very excited for this year!
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RedNeck
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Location: East Peoria

Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:54 pm

Most of my anxiety is centered around the O-line. Not at all a dig. I just feel like it's a new O-line group that may be great, or may be a year away. We shall see.

I would love to know more about WESTERN's strength and conditioning regimen. Of course they are all brutal but, is there something different that our guys are employing?

God this weather is oppressive.
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