Much has been made this week about the attrition of Storm Johnson and the acrimony between him, his papa (happy Father's Day to all, by the way), and the university. I'm already seeing rumblings about how great he and QB Jeff Godfrey are going to be in 2012 in Orlando. I even read a tweet from the editor of a not-to-be-named rival SBNation site about how UCF is going to be better than the U in 2012.....which comment does not even merit a retort as far as I'm concerned.
Maybe Storm was spoiled and didn't want to compete. Maybe he got into some things here which I don't need to mention that everybody knows what I'm talking about. I really have no idea, as the Canes have kept the root of the turmoil pretty well under wraps.
Or maybe he saw just how tough it would be to compete with the Canes' Lamar Miller for the starting job. Dunno, just tossing that out there.
Watching Miller tote the rock, it's tough to argue against that being at least a possibility. There's no doubt that Miller has good speed and the ability to get separation and rip off a big play. His KO return for TD vs Ohio State and 47-yard run against Virginia Tech are examples of that. What he possesses is the vision, agility, and cutback ability that former Cane greats possess. To the eye, he reminds me a bit of Clinton Portis with a bit more of a Frank Gore frame. He's very good at making his decision about where he's going to shift next after he gets through the first level of defenders, while keeping moving north and south. Not as much dancing as other backs, but more of a straight ahead style.
And that's what you want out a featured back. A guy who's going to run straight ahead, maximize gains on 1st-2nd downs, and not dance, keeping the offense out of negative plays and long down-and-distance situations.
The Canes had a plethora of options at tailback last year to be sure, but are now sans Johnson, Damien Berry,and Graig Cooper. It's the Lamar Miller and Mike James show now, with the Canes almost surely to lean on the former. When Miller was given the opportunity to get a lions' share of the touches, he turned in outstanding performances against Maryland (125yds on 22 carries) and the Hokies (163 yards on 15 carries). If the Canes want to flip the script on the -8 TO ratio and INT-fest that was 2010, Golden and Fisch will start by leaning on a running game and 300+ pound-laden offensive line with 4 returning starters and 9 of 10 on the O-line depth chart. And if they want to maximize the running game productivity, they'll give Miller 20+ carries regularly.
It's Lamar Miller's time to shine at the U now. Let's see how far he can go.