By firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Speakman)
Whenever Bo Scarbrough ran out to catch a pass, Cam Sims was watching. If Scarbrough succeeded, great, but if he failed, he would always hear Sims say one thing.
“That ain’t the Under Armour Bo,” Sims would say. “…The Under Armour Bo would’ve caught that.”
Sims is recalling a play from when Scarbrough was in high school, playing in the Under Armour All-American Game. Sims and Scarbrough were on the same team. Scarbrough ran his route—a crossing pattern across the middle of the field—and made an impressive catch with his fingertips 32 yards downfield.
Scarbrough never backs down from Sims’ ridicule, however. He would respond calmly, “If I lose a little weight, then I can catch it.”
Scarbrough has since lived up to his constant promises to Sims. He’s slimmed down this season from 240 pounds to 225 pounds. Like he said, it’s helped him in the passing game. This season, Scarbrough already has six catches. He had only four all of last year.
He said he feels more comfortable at his new weight.
“My body feels more clean,” Scarbrough said. “It feels more stable so I can move the way I want to move and I’m able to do some of the things I couldn’t do.”
His weight loss has helped him acclimate to Brian Daboll’s new offense. Back in August, offensive coordinator Daboll promised that he would get the running backs more involved in the passing game. Daboll wanted to use the running backs in more ways than straight-forward running.
“Running back is a position that you can’t have too many of,” Daboll said. “You can find creative ways to try to use them, and everyone will have a role if they earn that role.”
Scarbrough’s added pass-catching ability has not only benefited himself; it’s given Alabama a different dynamic. Scarbrough has mostly been described as a downhill runner who can succeed in between the tackles.
His expanded role in the passing game also takes a lot of pressure off quarterback Jalen Hurts and Alabama’s offensive line. Hurts said he’s enjoyed having an added outlet to throw to. He wants to get the ball into his running backs’ hands anytime he can.
“It’s just getting the ball in playmakers’ hands and letting them make a play,” Hurts said. “We’ve got a lot of guys here that can run with the ball and we do the best job we can to get them the ball.”
Scarbrough has always been known for his power. His ability to run over defenders, then seperate himself with speed is what makes him so special. He can make defenders miss, or flatten them. It’s a split-second decision for him.
“It depends on how I am feeling,” Scarbrough said. “[The defender] might get ran over a little bit. He might get a side-step. You never know.”
Scarbrough has shared the backfield with Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs, who returned from a hamstring injury last week. With so many players sharing carries in Alabama’s backfield, The Crimson Tide is able to hurt defenses in many ways with different players.
It doesnt matter who is carrying the ball for Alabama, defenses have to be on alert.
“We try to get the ball to a lot of guys,” Scarbrough said. “We have a lot of athletes on this team, so we’re trying to get the ball in everyone’s hands possible.”
Scarbrough knows the pressure that comes with being a running back at Alabama. Now that he has slimmed down, he’s hoping to have an even bigger impact on Alabama’s offense. On Saturday against Vanderbilt, he will get another chance to showcase his new skills.
“With this team, the expectation is so high,” Scarbrough said. “You don’t want to be one of those guys that is playing underneath that. You want to be at your best when you’re the best.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports