The 2015 College Football Season starts in less than two weeks with the Hokies’ season opener 17 days away against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Hokies may have the best defense in college football this fall while also having an improving offense that make the Hokies an under-the-radar sleeper to do some significant damage.
The Hokies have a lot of talented running backs with J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds already claiming the top two spots. Travon McMillian was redshirted last season, and has fought his way up to the third spot while Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie have been recovering from torn ACLs with McKenzie also dealing with other off-the-field issues.
McKenzie and Williams both were near the top of the depth chart when they were healthy last season, but both were also out for spring practice; Williams due to his torn ACL, and McKenzie due to his torn ACL and off-the-field issues.
Both are now back and fairly healthy, but are down on the depth chart with redshirt years seeming very possible at this point for both players. McKenzie and Williams would both like to avoid being redshirted this fall, but making sure both players are healthy is a high priority along with the fact that the Hokies have three running backs ahead of them.
Marshawn Williams has always been a power runner without the most explosiveness while still not being as far along in his recovery as McKenzie. Williams has the ability to truck some defensive players, but the Hokies do have other guys with plenty of power that can get the job done including Trey Edmunds and Sam Rogers.
Williams seems more likely to be headed for a redshirt as someone that is still not 100% healthy just yet.
Meanwhile, Shai McKenzie is more recovered from his torn ACL than Williams, but McKenzie has also suffered two torn ACLs. Reports from camp have suggested that McKenzie still isn’t fully recovered yet as he is still lacking the speed and agility that allowed him to have a very good few games last season.
However, McKenzie may be the Hokies’ best running back when fully healthy, but that may not happen this fall. There seems to be a good chance that McKenzie may start the season redshirted, but would be the first of this duo to play if injuries forced the Hokies’ hand.
Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie both could still end up avoiding redshirts, but the best move for both of these players may be to redshirt no matter what as they recover from injuries with the Hokies having plenty of talent at running back. However, injuries can always affect how long a player is redshirted with the talent these two guys have.