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The Cardinal Countdown: 31 Days Until Kickoff

John L. Smith
Sweet lid John L. Gonna go check out that play with Mary Todd later?

#31 Malik Staples

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/222

Position: Running back

Hometown: Suwanee, GA

Twitter: @MalikStaples_1

Thoughts: If you need an example of “this guy is so athletic we’re gonna do what it takes to get him on the field” please see Exhibit 1a: Malik Staples.

Back in 2016 Malik was one of only two true freshmen to see ‘real live game action’. Staples played in all 13 games on special teams and got in a few times at linebacker even though he was a running back out of high school. Last season he got some more time at linebacker but was limited with the emergence of some younger players like Dorian Etheridge and CJ Avery. So, what’s a coach to do with a player who may see limited time but someone he feels deserves live action reps? CHANGE POSITION [Pleasure P voice]

Malik is now officially a running back once again, and I love the move. While the linebackers could certainly use some depth in 2018 they have 12 players who have three years or more of eligibility remaining helping to fill in the secondary roles, and that group includes enough upperclassmen that leadership and experience at the spot shouldn’t be lacking. Running back on the other hand will likely be led by a RS Sophomore (Dae Williams) and a RS Freshman (Colin Wilson). Adding another upperclassman to the mix, along with Trey Smith, will help provide knowledge and depth at a spot where injuries are not only a concern but a realistic probability as the season progresses.

Malik will get some of those much coveted ‘real live game action’ reps this year at running back, I have no doubt. While I don’t envision Mailk being on the two deep this year (barring injury) his addition to the position group will likely pay dividends off the field beyond anything the everyday fan may be able to see.

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