In today’s spring preview we will examine the A-Back position of Paul Johnson’s offense. The position is deep with experience as three starters are returning, hoping to improve upon last season.
The three starters in spring practice are familiar names and faces in Qua Searcy, Clinton Lynch, and Nate Cottrell. Each one of these guys has a big role to play this season as the offense returns 9 of 11 from last season. If the old saying is true and experience helps performance, then these guys should no problems executing at a high level.
Stat Line: 28 Att – 209 Yds – 7.1 AVG – 0 TD – 3 Rec 43 yds -14.3 AVG – 0 TD
Lynch came into the 2017 season touted as one of the best players on the offensive side of the ball. To say that his season did not live up to the hype would not do it justice. Lynch had a rough year taking a step back in almost every category including touches, yards, and touchdowns.
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Lynch will be looking for a bit of a bounce-back year in 2018 and certainly will get his chances being one of the most experienced in the offense, and arguably one of the most explosive.
Stat Line: 36 Att -217 Yds – 6.0 Avg -1 Td , 4 Rec – 130 Yds – 32.5 AVG – 1 TD
Searcy in 2017 was coming off an incredible season where he was scoring game-winning touchdowns left and right including the famous “Dive” play at uga. Unfortunately, the season was not as kind to Searcy which saw him garner more carries but not nearly the yardage to account for it.
Searcy has explosive potential in both the run and pass game and should continue to be an impact player in the offense. During a spring practice interview, he was quoted as saying that he and the other A-backs are looking to step up in a big way this season and make their presence more known inside of the offense.
Stat Line: 33 Att -271 Yds – 8.2 AVG – 0 TD
Cottrell saw his first season of real work in 2017 as his 2016 season was derailed early with a knee injury, and he made the most of his opportunity. His 8.2 yards per carry average was the best of the three starters, while his 33 carries put him right in the middle of the workload.
While the sample size is still relatively small for Cottrell, look for him to continue being a major influence on the perimeter run game this season. It would also be interesting to see if he evolves into a pass catcher like Searcy and Lynch, or if he will be kept on the ground.