A little stability might be coveted by junior Terrence Magee.
In the past year, he’s been shifted from running back to receiver; had a disastrous jump-pass attempt in a loss at Florida; was swapped back to running back in spring; then slipped a spot on the depth chart when Jeremy Hill’s suspension was lifted this week.
Now, Hill is back, and Magee’s role looks like it might be tweaked again.
There’s little doubt that Hill, senior Alfred Blue and junior Kenny Hilliard will see carries this fall. Magee only has six in his career, and the number might not grow much.
In reality, attrition might be the best avenue for Magee, who rushed for 62 yards on seven carries in the second half the spring game.
“I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to play this year,” Magee said. “I can’t take nothing away from those guys. ... I’ve got to keep working, taking my time and learn the new playbook.”
Until then, Magee engages in the nuances of pass protection, zone blocking and catching throws out of the backfield — an element that might give him a niche, given his stint at wide receiver.
“They’re not all that different,” Magee said of running backs’ roles in the passing game. “The big difference
before is that we didn’t seem like we were really an option. Now, sometimes, when we come out the backfield ... we’re the first read.”
Line swapping continues
Josh Williford’s apparent concusion produced another tweak to the offensive line Friday.
Vadal Alexander, who sat out the past two days, moved back into the rotation at left guard. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Jerald Hawkins held firm at the right tackle spot.
“You’ve got to believe in those guys, no matter what,” quarterback Zach Mettenberger said of the front before touching on Alexander. “He kind of got first dibs replacing Williford for the time being.”
The rapid climb of Hawkins has been one of the top storylines early in camp (coach Les Miles said during spring practice that Hawkins would make for a solid backup).
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Hawkins said. “I don’t want to get a big head, but take it each day earning my chance.”
Mett on Miles’ thinking
The topic du jour over the past two days is the criticism by TCU coach Gary Patterson of Miles’ supposed decision not sit once-suspended Hill out of action.
On Thursday, Miles clarified himself, saying there would be the “withholding” of playing time from the sophomore — a phrase he used two years ago when three players sat out a game against Auburn after reportedly failing drug tests. Miles added that he doesn’t listen to outside criticism.
It’s a message reiterated by Mettenberger.
“Really, they’re mute to everybody in this room,” Mettenberger said. “This is our team. This is what we’re about. We made a decision as a unity council, and (in) talking with coach Miles, that we wanted Jeremy back on the team. He’s a guy that can help us. He’s already had a really tough road.”
A closer look
1. Despite the loss of left guard Josh Williford because of an apparent concussion, a line of La’El Collins, Vadal Alexander, Trai Turner, Jerald Hawkins and Ethan Pocic or Elliott Porter is still imposing.
2. There are several very talented receivers on hand, but Jarvis Landry appears to be on a higher level.
3. The secondary is a picture of stability. Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins, Craig Loston and Ronald Martin have been stalwarts.
4. The battle for the third cornerback spot appears to be among Tre’Davious White, Micah Eugene and Derrick Raymond.
5. Receivers James Wright and John Diarse were absent Friday. That came on the heels of news that Avery Peterson might be done for the year with an ankle injury.