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August 11, 2013One of the many tasks that the coaching staff wants to complete in summer camp is to find some depth behind Andre Williams at running back. The staff is very comfortable with what Williams can do in the backfield and are limiting his reps early in camp so they can make sure that he stays healthy.
What is less of a sure thing is who will spot Williams in game situations. Freshmen running backs Tyler Rouse and Myles Willis jumped out to an early lead early in summer camp and even had coach Steve Addazio praising their work. Both young players went down with minor injuries early in the first scrimmage though, and that opened the door for junior running back Tahj Kimble.
Kimble took the bulk of the carries throughout the scrimmage. Addazio said it wasn't the plan going in, but he was glad that Kimble took advantage of his opportunity.
"I thought he did some nice things today. He missed a couple days, coming off that knee [injury]. Traditionally, you do a little work and it gets a little swollen and a little sore and you take a day off then come and he's been in that routine. Today, I thought he did some nice things with the ball in his hand. It's all confidence. You come off those injuries and you have to have a little confidence rebuilding, so I thought today was a good step forward for that, and he had some productivity. Freshman [RB Tyler] Rouse has been very exciting in camp but he got a little hamstring strain on the third play, so we didn't see him which is a shame. We really wanted to see him. The other freshman Myles [Willis] had a minor tweak in his ankle - nothing major but we popped him out of there. Before you knew it, we were two backs down. David [Dudeck] and Tahj [Kimble] were taking too many snaps," said Addazio.
Kimble admitted that he had "no expectations" of how much work he would receive coming into the scrimmage. Kimble took a couple of carries to get comfortable with the knee. Then, he burst through a big hole and found himself one-on-one with safety Dominique Williams in the middle of the field. Kimble took one jab step to the right and then exploded off of his healed left knee got around the safety for a 20+ yard gain.
"That's kind of where I figured I was back. That kind of felt like the old me. I didn't think about it and I just did it," admitted Kimble.
Despite the heavy workload, Kimble felt good after the scrimmage.
"It was exciting. I haven't played in so long and I was itching to get back out here so much. Now that I'm finally back out here its kind of like a dream come true. It was like Christmas I couldn't sleep the night before," said Kimble.
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