With Armoni Goodwin sidelined, former walk-on Josh Williams took over the backfield’s heavy lifting. As LSU puts the final touches on their game plan for Ole Miss, it appears they’ll be returning Goodwin.
Josh Williams – Junior
The former walk-on has seen his number called several times, always providing the Tigers with key snaps when needed. Williams has seen his usage skyrocket this season. Rather than serve as the main third down back, he’s taken on starting duties, becoming the heartbeat of the backfield.
In a loaded running back room that many expected to see either John Emery or Noah Cain as the starters, Williams has proven he is capable of doing more than the dirty work for this team, taking over starting duties over the last few weeks.
Look for Williams to continue battling it out for key snaps despite Goodwin’s return this week. Earning a scholarship during his time with LSU, Williams has shown he’s willing to put it all on the line, showing his grit each and every time he steps on the field.
Armoni Goodwin – Sophomore
Goodwin is set to return this week after being cleared to practice from his “significant” hamstring injury. Labeled the Tigers’ starting running back this season, the sophomore standout was looking at a big season before injury sidelined him.
Now looking to be back on the field this weekend against No. 7 Ole Miss, look for Goodwin to gradually get back into the rotation. With a handful of guys who can carry the load, this squad is in no rush for Goodwin to hurry back and takeover the heavy lifting.
John Emery – Senior
Emery ended spring camp looking like a true RB1 for the Tigers. After missing the first few games of the season due to academics, this coaching staff has incorporated Emery in select situations this season, specifically when Goodwin went down.
Coming into spring, his entire body and demeanor changed. Looking bulked up and making smart decisions on the football field, Emery had all the makings of being the Tigers’ starter in their season opener against Florida State, but a suspension held that back.
Though Emery’s usage is down, he remains a rotational piece of this LSU offense. A few fumbles along the way has stunted his growth and progression, but head coach Brian Kelly has been adamant about him being a key piece to their offense.
Noah Cain – Junior
The first-year Tiger and Penn State transfer came to Baton Rouge with this coaching staff expecting big things. Throughout his stint in Happy Valley, Cain accumulated 806 rushing yards for 12 touchdowns, 26 catches and 166 receiving yards in 24 games with the Nittany Lions.
But Cain hasn’t been used as anticipated so far. On the field in special moments, he’s shined when given the opportunity, but it’s been a rollercoaster ride for him. He remains towards the bottom of the depth chart, and his opportunities have been limited with such a loaded room.
As the season continues, look for Kelly and this coaching staff to incorporate the Baton Rouge native in the offense a tad more. When given the opportunity, he’s flourished and can significantly boost this running back room as the season winds down.