April 25, 2006
The Battle For Second
With the absence of incumbent starter Antonio Pittman, spring practices have been the battlegrounds for a spirited battle to be Pittman's primary backup. While most observers have come away impressed with the play of freshman Chris Wells, the biggest backfield debate centers around two returning sophomores: Erik Haw and Maurice Wells.
But now that the dust has settled on spring practices and the players begin personal workouts to prepare for summer camp, the question remains: who is where on the depth chart?
What They've Done
Haw had the only two runs for paydirt this spring. First, he broke off a 71-yard score in the jersey scrimmage, then scored the only touchdown in the Scarlet and Gray Game on a four-yard scamper. He finished the jersey scrimmage with unofficial totals of 13 carries for 100 yards and the touchdown (official statistics were not kept), prompting sophomore wideout Brian Robiskie to tab him as his player of the game.
However, Haw dropped two passes out of the backfield during the jersey scrimmage and missed a key block that led to a sack of sophomore quarterback Todd Boeckman. Until his touchdown burst, Haw looked every bit the fourth tailback on the roster.
On his other 12 carries, Haw unofficially averaged 2.4 yards per carry.
Maurice Wells, on the other hand, has had an unremarkable spring during the two open practices. He had unofficial numbers of 15 carries for 48 yards and one catch for three yards during the jersey scrimmage with a long run of 20 yards. His spring game numbers (10 carries for 33 yards with a long of 10) were along the same lines.
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