Carson-Newman Football Position Preview: The Running Backs

VIDEO: Mike Clowney Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – This is the first in a series that will break down what Carson-Newman football brings to the table for the 2016 season position by position.  Today's preview features the Eagles' running backs with help from associate head coach Mike Clowney. 

Even with the loss of Harlon Hill Trophy finalist Damian Baker to graduation, Carson-Newman still features a highly touted running back corps. 

That's largely because a pair of second team All-SAC selections return to lead the offensive charge in Montavious Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) and Antonio Wimbush (Kingsland, Ga.). 

"The work ethic in the room is great and they get along with one another really well," Clowney said. "They've helped me make the transition from coaching to linebackers to coaching running backs, and they've made that transition a lot easier."

Wimbush turned in the best rushing season by a freshman for Carson-Newman football since Tyron Douglas in 2010. Wimbush tallied 584 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns.  Wimbush had more touchdowns in the SAC than any other freshman and ranked fourth in the league overall. 

"Wimbush is just a hard worker," Clowney said. "He goes out and does something if you ask him.  He's been able to develop his talent via his work ethic. He was voted a leader of the running backs; that's challenged him a bit because he's not a very vocal guy."

He crested the 100-yard mark twice, gaining 111 yards against North Greenville (11/7) and 108 yards against Tusculum (11/14).  Wimbush scored six touchdowns between those two games

A Don Hansen All-Region selection last year, Taylor tallied 648 yards on the ground and six touchdowns.  He averaged 62.2 yards per game. 

"Montavious just has a lot of God-given talent," Clowney said. "The biggest thing for him is fine tuning and giving harder effort in spots."

Taylor crested the 100-yard mark three times with 113 yards and a pair of scores at Mars Hill (9/26), 145 yards on 21 carries at Wingate (10/24), and 109 yards and a touchdown in the first round of the NCAA playoffs at Valdosta State (11/21).  

On top of the pair of preseason All-SAC picks, the Eagles also return Jamal Jones (Chattanooga, Tenn.) after the back spent the majority of his junior season battling hamstring injuries. He has rushed for a shade morJamal Jonesyards each of the last two seasons. 

"Jamal Jones has the opportunity to have a big year for us," Clowney said. "Our guys say everything Jamal does is 100 miles an hour and just strong.  Sometimes that plays against him because of the injuries, but I really  think he's poised for a great year."

Clowney also expects Jared Dillingham (Central, S.C.) and Marcus Williams (Apopka, Fla.) to factor into the two-deep for the position. 

Carson-Newman football's position previews resume Friday with C-N's linebackers and assistant coach Nick Reveiz.

Sparks to be honored Dec. 3
November 22, 2016 Sparks to be honored Dec. 3
Newberry sacks C-N 34-19
October 15, 2016 Newberry sacks C-N 34-19