LJ Scott ready to take on responsibility of a 'bell-cow' back
Thursday marked the first scrimmage play for the Spartans this season to give a taste of what this Spartan team will look like in the future, with more than half of the team being freshmen and sophomores.
Head coach Mark Dantonio said there will be more newcomers heading onto the field in the fall 2018 season.
“We've got a lot of players back with a lot of experience, but some of the guys you haven’t seen as much,” Dantonio said. “It’s interesting to watch the guys who haven’t repped as much.”
Senior running back LJ Scott, who returned for his senior year, said he knows he has to step up after losing some familiar faces, such as former running back Gerald Holmes graduating and Madre London transferring, but knows the team will be able to come together in the next few months.
“I just have to show a lot more maturity, responsibilities,” Scott said. “It’s a lot to come with being a senior and trying to be a leader and build kind of. We’re growing as a team though, for sure.”
Before spring break, Scott was not too confident of what his team did, but said he puts his trust into Dantonio to help them get where they need to be.
Scott said he now wants to set himself as an example for the team. To help them out, the first thing he wants to make sure he is doing is playing right.
“It’s about responsibilities and being mature,” Scott said. “Knowing I've got younger guys still coming in that are looking up to me. The fact that half of these guys don’t know what to do, I’m always the example for that."
Last season, Scott led the Spartans for the third-straight season in rushing with 898 rushing yards on 201 carries for eight touchdowns.
The new goal for Scott is to be the main running back on the field, just as former Spartan Le'Veon Bell played in his last season before getting drafted.
“I would love to be a bell-cow (lead running back),” Scott said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I think I can handle it and it’s about going out there and doing it.”
Youth on O-Line, team to step up: Coming into the new season, sophomore center Matt Allen will take the place of his older brother and ex-center for the Spartans Brian Allen, who was one in five former Spartans to participate in the Pro Day.
This makes the transition easier, junior quarterback Brian Lewerke said, since he has worked with Matt Allen in the past.
“It’s good,” Lewerke said. “It’s fine with me. I've just gotten rep followed him even last year. I was getting reps from Matt while Brian was hurt or something like that.”
Whether it’s the Spartans or any other college team in the Big Ten, Dantonio said he knows the teams still have a ways to go.
“They’re still ways to go,” Dantonio said. “I think that’s the way with every football team, when you come in and try to go pass the bar that you may have set for it, so it was a challenge.”