Protecting the ground game gem - Tucson News Now

Protecting the ground game gem

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - The running back position requires punishment, we know this. So how does Rich Rod protect his ground game gem healthy heading into the regular season and keep Nick Wilson tolerant to the inevitably violent collisions on game day? 

Last year running back Nick Wilson broke Arizona's freshman rushing record but suffered two concussions and ankle injury along the way.For the spring sessions it was easy, there was no contact. Arizona successfully protected their star rusher.

Now the preparation becomes more intense, it demands a game like atmosphere. On Friday Rich Rod hinted that the restrictions on Wilson would be loosened a bit," Yeah a little bit and Nick has to be smart too and he don't need to try and run over a bunch of the big guys."

The workload may lessen the amount of wear and tear on the young back as well. Two years ago we saw the nation's leading rusher Ka'Deem Carey tote the rock over 30+ times a game, even 40 times when needed. Rich Rod said Jared Baker will at times share the spotlight as what he refers to as a "co-starter" role. 

Like any year health is paramount, but for the Wildcats it's undeniably vital. The only team in the nation without a bye week has to keep their stars upright and fresh. A healthy Nick Wilson is a recipe for success. He rushed for over 1,300 yards and only started 13 games, I think you can see the upside if he could start every week. 

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