Tough news for fifth-year senior running back George Morris, as news came out that he suffered an ankle injury last Saturday that could keep him out indefinitely. The injury was bad enough that it required surgery, and no timetable has currently been given for his return.
Though the most experienced running back on the roster, Morris emerged from spring practice behind true sophomores Dontae Strickland and Jordan Fredericks as well as true freshman Moe Neal on the depth chart. But the Georgia native showed flashes of being a capable ball carrier last season, running for 326 yards while averaging 4.9 yards per tote.
SU senior running back George Morris suffered an ankle injury last Saturday that required surgery, per SU Athletics statement to @DOsports.
— Matt Schneidman (@matt_schneidman) August 19, 2016
With Morris sidelined, the depth chart is certainly shortened. Morris is a tough runner, as well, and could possibly have gotten work in short yardage situations. His injury could be what sparked some cross positional training or wide receiver Devin Butler, who has been splitting time between RB and WR drills over the past week. In other words, the timing lines up pretty well with when Morris went down to his ankle injury.
It’s certainly not the end of the world from a team perspective to lose the fourth string RB, but it’s certainly a blow, for Morris in particular. Should he wind up missing a significant amount of time as he recovers from surgery, it’ll be interesting to see if he attempts to get a medical redshirt to make up for what could potentially be a lost senior season.
In the meantime, Strickland and Fredericks are both capable runners and Moe Neal is oozing potential, mainly just needing to pack some additional muscle on his slender frame. Butler, should be get any reps in the backfield, actually does have some experience running the ball and working out of the backfield. Remember, he was a quarterback in high school, so he’s gotten a lot of opportunities to run the football. He’ll get on the field somewhere this season, but we’ll just have to wait and see how many touches he winds up getting as a running back.