Spring Preview: A Look at the Running Backs
ODUSports.com will do an eight-part preview, taking a look position-by-position at the Old Dominion University spring football roster. Today we highlight the running backs.
ODU returns Cam Boyd and Gerard Johnson who rushed for a combined 822 yards in 2013. Redshirt freshman Malik Moseley will be added to the mix as well as junior walk-on Harvey Taylor.
Running Backs (4)
Cam Boyd – 76 carries for 450 yards, 5 TD’s / 24 receptions for 206 yards
Gerard Johnson – 57 carries for 372 yards, 5 TD’s / 6 receptions for 59 yards
Malik Moseley – Redshirted in 2013
Harvey Taylor – Injured most of the year, carried three times for 21 yards
2014 Signees (1)
Ray Lawry – 5-10, 195 – Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional
Running Backs Preview
Gone is Old Dominion’s all-time leading rusher in Colby Goodwyn, but the Monarchs return Cam Boyd and Gerard Johnson, who both showed flashes in 2013.
Boyd was the Monarchs’ second leading rusher with 450 yards and his 70-yard touchdown run against Rhode Island is the longest TD run in school history. He rushed for 119 yards against the Rams and rushed for 45 or more yards three times.
Johnson was the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year after carrying 57 times for 372 yards. He was the first ODU back in 2013 to rush for 100-yards in a game when he carried 17 times for 101 yards in the win at Norfolk State. He added his second 100-yard game with 143 yards on nine carries against UNC, while producing the longest run in ODU history with an 81-yard burst.
Moseley redshirted in 2013 and will look to make an impact this spring.
A walk-on, Taylor played in three games, rushing three times for 21 yards. He missed most of the second half of the year with an injury.
Player Spotlight - Gerard Johnson
We will spotlight one player from each position group as we preview spring practice. Today we talked to sophomore running back, Gerard Johnson.
Q: Did you expect to play so much as a true freshman? I actually expected to be redshirted, so no, I didn’t expect to get as much playing time as I did.
Q: What kind of experience did you gain from playing last year? I learned how fast the game was in college, and I got to feel out new competition. It was a great learning experience. College football is a lot faster than high school. In high school, I was used to running past everyone, but now everyone is as fast as I am. It was a big difference, but at the end of the day I ended up getting used to it.
Q: What was your most memorable moment from last year? Scoring my first college touchdown. It felt like I had never scored before.
Q: Talk about your 81-yard run against UNC, which ended up being the longest run in school history. I got caught from behind, so it was a bad memorable moment for me. At the same time though, it was a learning experience. This spring I’m working on trying not to get caught again. Having the longest run in school history is a blessing, and it goes to show how hard work can pay off.
Q: What made that play so successful? I was running on D.J. Morrell’s side (right), so there was going to be a big hole. The entire game I was running behind him and there was always some type of hole. I praise my offensive line every day for that.
Q: What do you expect coming into the spring? I expect to get better with all of my techniques, including my footwork and anything else that will add to my game and help me be a better player this upcoming season.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the Hampton roads area? I love all the Restaurants. I love to eat. My favorite place to eat is Cookout. I can’t get enough of Cookout. I’ve had every tray they have, but my favorite is the regular chicken sandwich with cheese, mayo and lettuce with Cajun fries, chicken nuggets, and a large Oreo milkshake.
Q: What is your major? Criminal Justice with a minor in business. I want to be a federal police officer or an FBI agent.
Q: Favorite Olympic Sport? Track and Field. I like to watch Usain Bolt, so I like watching any of the sprint events. I ran track in high school, so I have a passion for it.