With 10 days until the Owls face off against the Fighting Irish in South Bend for their season opener, a new single digit was added to the team. Junior RB Ryquell Amstead will succeed Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft choice Haason Reddick with the #7 jersey, before a season many believe the halfback will garner national attention.
When turning back to last year’s stats (156 car, 919 yds, 14 TDs), you see how productive he was while splitting carries with Jahad Thomas- who carried the ball 207 times for 953 yards. Expect Amstead’s carries to reach closer to 250 this season as new play-caller, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, will likely turn to a proven run game while figuring out a new starter at quarterback. Look for Jager Gardner and David Hood to also contribute to this year’s run game.
Here’s the current list of single digits:
#1. Ventell Bryant WR
#2. Delvon Randall SS
#3. Sean Chandler FS
#4. Nick Sharga FB
#5. Keith Kirkwood WR
#6. Sharif Finch DE
#7. Ryquell Armstead HB
#9. Jacob Martin DE
Another new addition to this list is DE Sharif Finch, meaning just one single digit jersey remains for 2017. Phillip Walker’s single digit #8 from last year’s championship season is still up for grabs, and the question becomes: what player will retain it?
There is plenty of proven talent on the list of double digits. Names like senior WR Adonis Jennings, DT Michael Dogbe, CB Artrel Foster all jump out with proven production. With single digits, more than just proven production goes into the decision. The last single digit could take people by surprise with my expectation, which will be who is named starting quarterback. Since none of the 4 quarterbacks can base anything on production (11 pass attempts amongst all 4), a single digit could provide the feel of a “#1 guy” coach Collins and offensive coordinator
Dave Patenaude have been looking for all camp. Other potential single digit players who come to mind that could shock include redshirt freshman TE Kenny Yeboah and sophomore LB William Kwenkeu as they have both been very good this offseason.
Stay tuned for more on the quarterback situation in the coming days from the SportsDesk.