Sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett shone as a major bright spot for the Gators. From the box score alone, Scarlett didn’t stand out, gaining only 55 yards on 12 carries. However, he had the Gators’ only touchdown of the day, and 24-yard run to set up that score. If you watched the game, it was apparent the Scarlett was the best running back on the Florida roster. Scarlett runs as tough and as hard as anyone in the country. He repeatedly breaks tackles, as it routinely took multiple Commodore defenders to take him down. He spent the day running through would be tacklers and gaining tough yards. Jordan Scarlett definitely has the talent to become a household name and could easily become one of the best running backs in the SEC if it wasn’t for his coaching staff.
Coach McElwain is using an odd running back rotation this season. None of the Gator backs seem to get any momentum or confidence going as they are constantly being rotated in and out. Yes, it seems the only thing holding Scarlett back is the fact that the Gator coaches seem hell bent on a committee of 4 running backs consisting of Scarlett, Lamical Perine, Jordan Cronkrite, and Mark Thompson. This strategy has severely limited Scarlett’s effectiveness, though not preventing it entirely. Scarlett is getting more carries than the other backs on the team, with 12 individual carries as compared to their combined 15. If the Gators hope to get their running game to an elite level, they will need to make Scarlett the feature back.
This week Florida plays host to LSU. The Gators hope to have Del Rio back for this game. His return should help open up the running game a little bit with a real threat under center. If Scarlett can get the majority of the work in the Gators’ backfield, look for him to have a breakout game against the Tigers. Scarlett has the talent to be the best running back in the SEC next year, with Fournette and Jalen Hurd most likely moving on to the NFL. Gator fans everywhere should hope to see Scarlett’s workload increase, as he certainly has the talent to make a positive impact on the Florida offense.