Jordan Scarlett didn’t become Florida’s feature back until midway through last season, but even then, he had just three games with more than 15 carries. He hopes it’s not the same this season.
“Considering last year, I don’t think splitting carries would be a good thing because it obviously got us ranked last,” Scarlett told GatorCountry.com. “But I don’t know; that’s not up to me.”
Florida indeed ranked last in the SEC in rushing, at just 128.2 rushing yards per game. That was 113th nationally.
Scarlett led UF with 889 yards; he had three 100-yard games, another with 94 and one with 93. Two of his three 100-yard outings came when he had more than 15 carries; his other game with more than 15 carries yielded 93 yards.
He finished the season with 179 attempts – 13.7 per game; almost 40 percent of his carries (68) came in three games (Georgia, LSU and South Carolina) and he rushed for a combined 335 yards in those outings.
Lamical Perine and Mark Thompson received at least 68 carries each as the Gators used a share-the-wealth philosophy. Still, the thought was Scarlett would get the bulk of the carries this fall, but perhaps that’s not the case.
Perine and Thompson are back, and UF has two freshman running backs as well in Adarius Lemons and Malik Davis.
“I think we’ve got really good depth at the position,” Jim McElwain told reporters this week. of his running backs. “Maybe even a little better now than when we first were here just from a sheer numbers standpoint.”
McElwain also said “you have to be able to have three and then a specialty guy at some point. It’s a long season, and those guys take a pounding. I’m not a guy that believes in giving it to some guy 40 times.”
Quarterback Malik Zaire could impact the rushing attack, as well. Zaire is a dual-threat guy who is a threat with his legs, and he also can run the zone read.
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