Jason Snelling has looked strong during fall practice.
During Sunday’s football practice at Virginia, the following phrases were shouted after different running plays: “J!”, “Yeah, J-Bird!”, “Nice job Jason!”, “Way to go Snell!”, and so on. In other words, by any nickname you choose, Jason Snelling has looked very strong at running back during the Cavaliers’ open sessions this fall. The Hoos hope the trend continues Labor Day weekend and beyond.
“I’m just working on my game and getting better. Coach said to keep doing what I was doing, running hard and everything,” Snelling said. “I’m just trying to focus in on the parts of my game I need to work on.”
Snelling, who played fullback last season at around 245 pounds, has trimmed down and toned up in preparation to play running back in his final year with the Cavs. The on-field results thus far have been impressive. During the spring, Snelling looked powerful and quicker with the football. In fall training camp, it is more of the same – he finds holes, quickly gets through them, and then takes on tacklers. All of those traits should make him a handful for opposing defenses this fall.
“Once I found out my new role was playing more running back, getting more carries, [we] talked about dropping a couple of pounds and getting at a weight and in shape where I would be able to carry the ball as a running back since I’ve never done that at this level,” Snelling said.
The senior appears to be leading the running back competition with Cedric Peerman , Michael Johnson, and Mikell Simpson . In fact, if fall practice is an indicator, Snelling and Peerman will each get a truck-load of carries this season, which could wear down opponents. Why? Because both runners bring a physical style to the running game.
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