August 18, 2009

VIDEO: RB competition fierce, productive says Enos

EAST LANSING - Michigan State running backs coach Dan Enos had plenty to be pleased with after watching his running backs in Monday's 140-play scrimmage. Enos also watched several of his younger running backs in action during a morning scrimmage that included several true freshmen and red-shirt freshmen.

Enos is a long way from whittling down his pool of six running backs to a playing group of three or four. In addition to featuring a lot of running plays in scrimmage, Michigan State's backs have taken reps in two groups of three. The first group of three will get a ton of reps in one practice and the second group will get a ton of reps in the next.

"We have really been trying to emphasize the running game the past three or four days," said Enos. "We've gone to a rotation where we have taken three of them and featured them in one practice and then three of them and featured them in the next practice so they can get into somewhat of a rhythm. They are all competing and they are all running very hard.

"They are all good players, there is not a mistake in the bunch. They are all highly recruited guys and there is a reason for it. They are all talented guys with different strengths and we are letting it play out and they are making it hard on us right now."

Enos says that the back or backs that emerge at the end of training camp will be battle tested and ready to carry the football in a game setting.

Muskegon sophomore Ashton Leggett led all rushers with 91 yards on 10 carries including a 63-yarder for a touchdown during Monday's scrimmage.
"We have seen a lot of things out of Ashton even when he was a true freshman," said Enos. "In one of our first scrimmages he had a couple of long runs. For a big guy, he has deceptive speed. He is a smooth runner and sometimes when guys are smooth like that, they don't look like they are running as fast as they are. Yesterday, he ran away from everybody on our defense. Like I said, that is not a surprise to us because we expect that out of Ashton."
Enos would not say whether Leggett's long run came against the first or second defense.
"It was a good run, he made a nice cut, and he outran everybody," added Enos.
But he did say that he was pleased with the play of Leggett, who along with Caulton Ray was the most consistent running back in the spring.

Leggett has slimmed down from his playing weight as a freshman. He is down to 225 from around 235.

True freshmen Larry Caper and Edwin Baker took most of their reps in the morning scrimmage featuring underclassmen.

Enos likes what he has seen from his fullbacks. Hawken is noticeably bigger and stronger than he was last year. Josh Rouse has made solid strides as a fullback and Adam Setterbo is poised to be the fullback of the future for Michigan State.

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