Jonas Gray should be the lead running back for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Gray is more explosive than he’s given credit for, and performs consistently better than Cierre Wood in all running situations.
Wood should still be a huge part of the offense, but Brian Kelly should deploy him in a similar fashion to the way the New Orleans Saints use Darren Sproles.
Wood should receive about 15 touches per game, with an emphasis on getting him the ball in open space. Beyond that, Gray should be the focal point of the Notre Dame running game.
Jonas Gray’s remarkable metamorphosis has taken place because Gray has accepted who he is, as well as who he isn’t.
He seems to finally realize how much bigger and stronger he is than most of his opponents. When he breaks through the initial line of defense, Gray powers through smaller tacklers at full speed, rather than breaking down and trying to elude them.
This allows Gray to break through tackles while maintaining a full head of steam, making it difficult for slower linebackers to chase him down from behind.
A run that used to be a four yard dance routine becomes a 15 yard steamrolling.
This change in approach has helped Gray grow from a player who could never seem to live up to his potential to a player who is already outgrowing his role.