Press "Enter" to skip to content

We Asked, How do you think LSU RBs Did in 2022. This is What You Said:

Let’s look at how the season played out in a year where no LSU back took the world by storm, as evidenced by Jayden Daniels leading the team in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Josh Williams

Josh Williams was the feel-good story of the running back room this year. His snap count during fall camp surprised people with the idea that the former walk-on might get some real playing time this year.

He did the most he could with his snaps and became the heart and soul of the running back room. His constant strong runs gave life to the offense at times. Williams was stopped behind the line seven times for seven lost yards. His stats were not very flashy, but he was not allowed to shine, with half of the rushing attempts of most of the top backs in the SEC.

One area where he shined was blocking when Jayden Daniels decided to go on the run. It was a huge part of LSU’s offense this season, and he was vital to that success. He talked a lot about taking pride in his blocking. His pass blocking was not elite, but it is hard to ask for much more than effort in the passing game.

He and Daniels also built a good relationship in the passing game. Williams led all backs in receptions and receiving yards, becoming a very important check down option for Daniels. The offense started to open up more when they started incorporating the backs into the passing game. I certainly would not call him a receiving back or call it his strength, he did not have the best hands in the backfield, but he became an option.

Something we will talk more about later is ball security, which is a pivotal part to any running back’s season. Williams did not turn the ball over at all, which is a huge plus.

Overall, given expectations coming in, there was not much to complain about with Williams. It was a rough year for the running backs, but he was ultra-consistent and became a real leader for the team. If the team needed yards, they turned to Williams. A significant level of trust was built with multiple former five-stars in the backfield. The biggest downside of his season was not really what he did on the field, it was that he was out in the Texas A&M game due to injury.

Grade: A-

John Emery Jr.

Emery finally came back to the lineup for the first time since the end of the 2020 season, but certainly did not have the bounce back season that many people were hoping for.

You can tell that the talent is still there, but Emery never found consistency from run to run. He would be good for one or two big runs a game, but it was not sustained. Whenever he broke free in the passing game, he looked like a real threat after the catch. He had some highlight reel plays, but even that was not consistent enough.

The biggest downside, of course, was his fumbling issues that popped up. Emery had four lost fumbles this year, the worst of his career. The issue book-ended his season, as he was solid during the middle of the year but became a worry again at the end.

If he were to come back to the team for the fifth season, there is a ton to build on and be excited about. He has all the talent in the world but has not fully returned to where he was before his suspension. It may seem unfair, but I do think that given his expectations that this was a bit of a disappointing season for him.

Grade: C+

Noah Cain

I was optimistic about Cain leaving fall camp, as I thought he looked the best out of any of the backs. The season turned out to not be anything too exciting. He had similar stats to John Emery on the ground, but most came from the out-of-conference games where they did not play Williams or Emery as much.

He did become a reliable kick returner in the second half of the season, which helped subdue the special teams’ mistakes from earlier in the year.

Overall, he shined when called upon, they did not call upon him for half of the season. He played the role of a third running back well, but never really cracked into a more significant role despite the running back room being open heading into the year.

Grade: B-

Armoni Goodwin

It looked a bit like Goodwin was going to be the breakaway star in this running back room with a strong start to the season. From what we saw when he played, there is a lot to be excited about. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that took him out for the second half of the season.

The hope is that he comes back fully healthy for next year, but knee injuries are scary for backs. You never really know how they are going to respond. He is an incredibly talented runner, though, and will surely get reps next year. He might have become the bell cow this year, but sadly we will never know.