UCLA Football Spring Practice Preview 2018: Running Backs

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Running back Soso Jamabo
BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Running back Soso Jamabo /
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BOULDER, CO – NOVEMBER 3: Running back Soso Jamabo
BOULDER, CO – NOVEMBER 3: Running back Soso Jamabo /

UCLA Football Spring Practice Preview: Running Backs (cont.)

Here are the players that should get the most reps this spring…

Last season, RB coach DeShaun Foster helped to improve the run game after a disastrous 2016. The Bruin RBs made improvements as they helped move the offense (though not as efficiently as the passing game), but there is still much to be desired. Aside from that, because of the progress, Foster was retained by Kelly, so the RB coach will continue to work (and improve) the run game.

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Now for the players. I can see Soso Jamabo being used in different scenarios in Kelly’s offense. He came to UCLA as a shifty, speedy running back, though has not really lived up to that role. Part of that has to do with the lack of coaching and development of the ground game of the previous coaching regime.

Jamabo excels when he gets into the open field, primarily by way of the sidelines. In the last two seasons, he was often sent up the middle, which is not something he had success with, especially with an offensive line that was not opening holes for him.

Jamabo is also one of the taller backs on the team, which makes him a bigger target for defenses stopping or pursuing the run. The good thing about this is the fact that he also has decent hands, so Kelly could use him on run and passing plays.

Go Joe Bruin expert Michael Chavez pointed out the advantages of this before last season in his article, Making a case for Soso Jamabo as a receiver. And wouldn’t you know it, he had several passes thrown his way in 2017 as he caught 17 for 204 yards. Having that kind of multi-talented player on the roster could do wonders for Kelly, but Jamabo is not the only one.