The last time the Memphis Tigers had a dominant running back was when DeAngelo Williams was carrying the ball out of the backfield. Sure, Curtis Steele was a good back, but he wasn’t dominant to the extent defenses schemed around his ability to make big plays.
That could change with the emergence of freshman Marquis Warford.
He had a coming out party against Arkansas State, running for 173 yards on just 11 carries, or, for the stat junkies, 15.7 yards per carry. No matter what team you’re playing, those kind of numbers are very impressive. Arkansas State is a good team, too. What he did took Tigers fans back to the days Williams was setting records.
He possesses scary speed and is very elusive. Just ask Arkansas State how hard it was to tackle Warford. The first two games, he seemed to have a case of the jitters and was impatient. That all disappeared in his Week 3 performance, however.
What fans are seeing is the making of what could be the next Williams. Not to say Warford will put up the kind of numbers Williams did, but he has the potential to be great. Like Alex Collins at Arkansas, he has great vision for a freshman back. Once he finds the hole, he hits it and doesn’t hesitate.
He is part of a very young, but talented, Memphis offense that is continuing to learn and get better each week. Warford will be tested this week against a very stout Central Florida Knights defense. He still has a long road to fulfill his potential, but nonetheless, Warford is a star in the making.