The running back position is one of the few for Louisville football in 2018 that had plenty of question marks headed in fall camp.
Will Dae Williams be able to stay healthy?
Can Colin Wilson pick up where he left off prior to the season ending injury?
Are Trey Smith and Tobias Little and realistic options despite such little experience?
There’s a lot to be learned over the next few weeks as the Cards continue fall camp, but after a couple of practices it’s clear who’s at the top of the depth chart at running back.
“Trey is the guy,” running backs coach Kolby Smith said following Saturday’s practice. “He did a great job of earning it and I don’t see him letting it go.”
Smith had a solid spring for the Cards, however he did it with Williams and Wilson both sidelined. With that said, it sounds like he’s more than taken advantage of the opportunity.
“I really do think it’s my time,” Smith said after the team’s second practice. “I’ve tried to prove to the coaches that I’ve worked so hard to get on the field. I just want them to see that I do belong and how hard I’ve worked to become a better player.
Since signing with Louisville in 2015, Smith has spent time at both full back and running back. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2015 and totaled 152 yards on 32 carries over the past two seasons.
The Mississippi native hasn’t been one of the more notable names on the roster since arriving at Louisville, but the staff has always spoke highly of him. Smith has NFL genes as his father Jimmy played receiver in the NFL for over a decade.
Coaches will tell you not to pay much attention to the depth chart at the beginning of fall camp, therefore there’s a chance one of the other talented ball carriers could edge Smith for the top spot. However, I’d be highly surprised if the redshirt junior isn’t a factor for the Louisville offense in 2018.
I expect all four running backs will be involved throughout the season as long as they stay healthy. But when it comes to who’s getting the bulk of the carries, Smith appears to be the leader at this point.
JD Coffey joined on as a contributor for TheCardinalConnect.com in June of 2011. He’s a frequest on-air contributor for Cards Radio 790 WKRD. Follow JD on Twitter @JD_Coffey.