What to watch: Dameon Pierce will again be the focus of the Bearcat offense

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2016



As they prepare to start the 2016 season, one thing is sure for the Bearcats, junior running back Dameon Pierce will again be the main weapon on offense. Last season the star running back led the team with 2060 yards on 308 carries and a school record 33 touchdowns.

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It has been a busy summer for Pierce as he received multiple scholarship offers from major college football programs before pulling the trigger and committing to Alabama. According to running backs coach Larry Cosby, the distractions have not kept Pierce from continuing to work on his game though.

“He’s still like he hasn’t committed to anyone with all the hard work I see him do,” Cosby said. “He has an I.Q. for the game of football. He’s a smart kid. He’s still doing the little things is what I appreciate about him.”

Improving on those little things has been the focus for Pierce this summer. From catching the ball out of the backfield to not tipping the defense on the direction of the run by leaning pre-snap, Cosby said they are still working on refining Pierce’s game.

“Before the ball is snapped he’s leaning a little bit,” Cosby said. “Not sitting back on his heels. He’s trying to get off the snap a little early… I want to see him catching it out of the backfield. He dropped two or three of them against Lowndes that he usually catches in practice.”

Pierce is not the only running back that will have a major role in the offense either. Senior Malique Pate serves as the starting fullback and also fills in for Pierce as the backup tailback.

“Malique is a combination of both,” Cosby said. “It’s a good situation having him in there because if we go with a certain package he’s already in there and he knows what to do.”

Pate was second on the team last season with 302 yards on 69 carries. Behind him, senior Donavan McRay will provide depth at both fullback and tailback and junior Markel Broadnax will also be in the line to receive carries this season.

“Broadnax is doing real well for us,” Cosby said. “He had a carry in the Lowndes scrimmage that kind of impressed me, He’s getting north and south, taking care of the ball. Keeping it high and tight.”

The Bearcats are expected to feature a run heavy offense again this season, even with quarterback Brett McLaughlin back for his second full season as a starter.

The Bearcats will hold their second preseason scrimmage against Godby in Tallahassee on August 18 before opening the season against Lee County on August 26 at home.

Check back on Saturday for a breakdown of the special teams, our final position preview.


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