NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State enters the 2018 campaign with four of its top running backs from a year ago. The rushing unit is the second of five position groups without a senior, boasting six juniors and three freshmen.
The Tigers have not featured a 1,000 yard runner since Tim Broughton ran for 1,234 yards in 2013. Sabree Curtis led TSU with 439 yards on 91 carries, to finish just ahead of fellow junior Seth Rowland who handled the ball 94 times amassing 421 yards. The Big Blue also returns Earl Harrison who missed most of the season due to an injury, but the junior looks to regain his form from 2016 where he totaled 475 yards on just 73 touches.
Redshirt junior Andrew Knox has played 22 games during his career, mainly at fullback, and provides blocking, as well as a power runner. Knox will be joined by junior college transfer DeMarco Corbin and redshirt freshmen Shaun McColley and Jordan Bell to provide power in the running game.
The Tigers will look to Ellsworth CC transfer Te’kendrick Roberson to fight for the feature back role. Roberson tallied 816 yards on 163 carries last season and broke the end line five times. The sophomore season for Roberson improved upon his first season at ECC when he went for 597 yards on 153 carries.
True freshman Kaemon Dunlap rounds out the running back corps. Dunlop provides a speedy and elusive style to the unit and provides depth as he looks to battle for playing time. The Hendersonville, Tenn. product could be used in the return game as well.
|RUNNING BACKS||HT||WT||YR||Transfer||Gms Played||Carries||Yards||TD|
|Andrew Knox (FB)||5-11||250||R-Jr.||22||46||141||1|
|Te'kendrick Roberson||6-0||195||Jr.||Ellsworth CC||--||--||--||--|
|DeMarco Corbin||6-1||225||Jr.||Pima CC||--||--||--||--|
Junior Running Back Earl Harrison
- On coming back from last year’s injury
“I’m feeling healthy. Really healthy. I just took last season, sat back, and really observed. I saw the game more, and I think I’m ready.”
- On how camp is going
“Camp has been going phenomenal. Everybody’s meshing together. Everybody’s doing great. We had a few turnovers in the scrimmage, but I think we’ll be ready.”
- On the depth of the running backs
“The depth will help tremendously. Fresh legs can come in and out. We’ve got a lot of ball players at running back, so we’ll do great.”
Junior Running Back DeMarco Corbin
- On the transition from Pima CC
“It is a lot more organized in a sense from what my JuCo was like. It has been a faster pace. I started at Illinois State, so I saw that type of play, that type of style they have here. I have enjoyed it and it has been working out pretty well.”
- On joining the running back unit
“It’s been pretty good. Coach Mashack has helped me out a lot, as well as Coach Parker and Coach Bradford. They make sure I know what I am doing every play. They like to keep me in line. It has been a pretty easy transition learning the plays. I feel it has been pretty smooth.”
Junior Running Back Te’kendrick Roberson
- On first camp at TSU
“I came in during the spring, so I got the chance to learn the plays and get into the system. Fall camp was going good until I had a minor injury, but I have been trying to bounce back.”
- On what he believes he can bring to the offense
“I hope I can bring the ability to take it from anywhere and score touchdowns. I just want to do whatever I can do, be a team player, block, just whatever I can do to help win the game."
- On the depth of the running back position
“We have a lot of people at running back. I am not sure how it is going to play out during a game, but we have a lot of depth and every back has different abilities. I’m just looking to see how everything plays out.”