NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State will look to replace Erick Evans who led the team in rushing with 597 yards and four touchdowns on 127 carries in 2016. Coach Reed caught a glimpse of a possible replacement for Evans in the final game of the season as Earl Harrison stepped in and ran for 168 yards on 23 touches at Southeast Missouri State.
Harrison finished with 475 yards on the season and two scores, including a 46-yard touchdown run at Bethune-Cookman. The true sophomore earned Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week after finishing with 113 yards on 13 carries and a score at B-CU.
Sabree Curtis, Jr., who averaged 4.4 yards per carry as a freshman, will battle Harrison for the starting role. Curtis ran for 169 yards and crossed the end line twice, and also hauled in seven catches for 68 yards and a score.
Tyler Black is striving to be a part of the mix in touches in his second season with the Tigers, as does Seth Rowland, who played in 10 games on special teams a season ago. Arkeem Granger also looks to provide depth for TSU after suffering a season ending injury in the spring after his redshirt freshman season. Now in his third year in Blue, Granger hopes to return to his form, which excited the coaching staff.
Andrew Knox and Terence Harris II will share time at fullback. Knox played in two games as a true freshman before suffering a season ending injury, but returned in his second season to score a touchdown against Eastern Kentucky. Harris played in 10 games as a sophomore leading the way for Telvin Hooks, Tom Smith and Evans, who all combined for over 1,000 yards.
|RUNNING BACKS||HT||WT||YR||Gms Played||Carries||Yards||TD|
|Terence Harris (FB)||6-1||242||R-Sr.||12||--||--||--|
|Andrew Knox (FB)||5-11||250||R-So.||11||4||6||1|
Sophomore Running Back Sabree Curtis
- On today’s practice
“Today was a good practice. Everyone was locked in and focused. Last practice we didn’t do that well, but today we had high intensity and a high tempo. We just flew around.”
- On Saturday’s scrimmage
“It was a learning experience. Everyone had a few mistakes, but we went to film and picked up what we messed up on, so we could correct it for the next time.”
- On what he can bring to the team
“I bring speed, good vision – I’m kind of like the home run hitter on the team, but most of the backfield is capable of doing the same thing.”
- On the ultimate goal for the season
“I want my team to win the OVC Championship. I want to make my teammates better and get better this year.”
Sophomore Running Back Seth Rowland
- On practice
“Today went well. As an offense, we did a lot better than Saturday and we came together. We didn’t really jump off sides which was a good thing, but I think we just have to work on our snaps and fundamentals as running backs. We also have to run plays as a receiving corps. We just have to come together and we can be an unstoppable offense.”
- On goal for the season
“I want to play. I’ve been through a lot to get here. I came from the bottom and I’ve been working hard. I think I can really help us out this year. When my name is called I’m going to be ready to go.”
Freshman Running Back Jordan Bell
- On the transition and working with the veteran backs
“First week was tough, but now things are a little easier. I just need to know the plays more. I just learn off of them. So when I have my chance I can be as strong as them.”
- On the running backs play
“We are gaining yards every time we touch the ball and we are getting first downs. We are just trying to always go hard.”
Freshman Running Back Shaun McColley
- On performance in the scrimmage
“I felt pretty good going into the scrimmage, but when I got the ball I was just thinking too much and I wasn’t hitting the hole strong enough. After that day, I told myself that I will always go hard and not back down.”
- On the focus on improving
“Every time we go over film, I look at the holes and how open they were. I also look to see how fast I need to get into the hole or if I need to slow down a bit.”