WVU Football

WVU Football: Is It D'Vontis' Time to Ignite the Running Game?

Wanted: One running back to assist top quarterback!
Wanted: One running back to assist top quarterback!Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Michael WalkerAnalyst IISeptember 27, 2012

Preseason is over. Conference time. Remember Coach Gillispie extolling the play of freshman D'Vontis Arnold at the end of fall camp? 

Yes, the coach chose his words carefully. We're talking about a preferred walk-on.

Armold, the 5'9",185-pound speedster from Miramar High School in Florida may be the answer if Shawne Alston is still sore and Dustin Garrison isn't 100 percent.

I call Arnold a speedster because I watched his high school film, where he was clearly one of the fastest kids on the field.

Arnold is built physically in the mold of Dustin Garrison. He was probably the reason three-star running back Torry Clayton left the team. Remember, Clayton was the only scholarship freshman in this fall's class

You hate to burn his redshirt for that reason, but it's the position he has practiced for. Ideally, Shawne Alston will be back Saturday at full strength, but what if he isn't? .Garrison clearly is not ready.

Some writers and fans are calling for Donovan Miles to move over to the running back spot from fullback. That's not the position he has practiced, and he is needed where he is for his blocking ability. Remember, he was a linebacker last year.

The "A" running back slot calls for a runner, and essentially Arnold is in the backup slot behind Garrison. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.


It doesn't matter to me who they play; I've never met any of them. But I do know that the "B" running back position is for blocking and pass protection. The "A" slot is for running and catching.

If you need your runner to pass-protect as his primary duty, you have a problem up front that no running back can fix.

I say it's time to rotate the freshman in with Buie if Alston isn't ready. WVU has to run the ball against Baylor.

Comments welcome and appreciated. I'm a big guy, let me have it!

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