Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Amir Carlisle Needs to be the Featured Runner
I just love the picture up top. Here is a guy that used to play for USC but realized what their program was becoming so he left and came to Notre Dame. Amir Carlisle had to sit out last year when the Irish had that magical year. However, the good thing was that he was able to learn the system and work with guys like Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. During last Saturday's tough defeat to Michigan, Kirk Herbstreit said that Carlisle reminded him of Riddick. I totally agree with that except that I do believe that he has potential to be a better runner but not quite as good of receiver.
Through two games, he has 19 carries for 132 yards with a 6.9 yards per carry average. That is an indication that we need to give him the ball even more. He should have at least 15 carries a game.
I understand that the first couple weeks Coach Kelly wanted to kind of feel it out to see who was the best back. To me, that is clear that it is Carlisle. The next highest runner is George Atkinson with 13 carries for 71 yards and 5.5 yards per carry average and one touchdown. That is not too shabby either so I certainly do not want to discount Atkinson. However, I think his role should really move to more of a third down specialist. He seems to be more of an open space guy than a pure runner. I think he would excel in that role. He is also explosive on kickoff returns.
Cam McDaniel has also looked good with 13 carries for 69 yards and a 5.3 average. He is the muscle of the group so his role should be for short yardage and goal line situations. He can also be used as a change of pace every now and then. When the defense is tired of chasing Carlisle, then bring in the truck. McDaniel can also be used for additional pass protection when the situation calls for it.
Yes, the Irish needed to assess the position the first couple of weeks to see who the featured runner would be. It seems clear to me Carlisle is the man while Atkinson and McDaniel have their roles. As good as Carlisle looks above I think he looks better below.