If there’s one clear strength to the Tar Heels in 2014, it’s in the backfield.
Carolina will boast a bevy of powerhouse running backs in Chapel Hill this fall. Talented T.J. Logan has a year of experience under his belt and will be aiming to build on his freshman year performance as a seasoned sophomore.
Logan ran for 456 yards and four touchdowns in just eight games a season ago, leaving Carolina coaches salivating at his prospects after a hard offseason of training. Logan’s specialty is in his elusiveness. He’s able to fly past defenders with quick bursts of acceleration.
But Logan contributes elsewhere. He’s returned 16 kickoffs for 391 yards and a touchdown.
It’s a talented freshman, though, that’s been stealing the spotlight away from Logan. Elijah Hood, the highly touted back who the Tar Heels tore away from the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, should electrify fans in attendance at Kenan Stadium.
Hood, a Charlotte native, has all the makings of a breakout maiden campaign. He mixes battering ram-type power with enough speed to blow by defenders if needed.
Speaking to players at spring practice, it became evident that nobody really wanted to stand in this guy’s way. There’s no doubt about it. Hood enjoys running people over.
In 2012, he carried the ball 69 times for 386 yards and two touchdowns. In 11 games in 2013, he rushed for 280 yards and three scores. He’s no slouch.
Francis, meanwhile, may be the X-factor. The sophomore was never really given a decent chance to shine last season. Francis is a versatile runner who could fill in nicely in some of Head Coach Larry Fedora’s rollouts, screens and trick plays.
The toughest job for new running backs coach Larry Porter may be managing the varied skill sets of his healthy stable of rushers, but that’s a nice problem to have.
Logan has coined the group ‘Thunder and Lightning’. As the name suggests, there could be a storm brewing in Chapel Hill