The Flames enter 2016 having to replace two all-conference performers at running back in D.J. Abnar and Des Rice. Liberty also has a new running back coach after Jamaal Fobbs took a job at Tulane. Scott Downing takes over to lead this young group of backs, and he’s pleased with where the group is at a few weeks before the season kicks off.

“We’ve got some tough guys that are strong. They came in well prepared physically. They’re doing everything we ask. They understand that camp is a grind. They’ve had very, very mature attitudes about that. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Todd Macon will be the early season starter and he’s expected to get a large chunk of the carries.

“He’s displayed leadership amongst the group,” Downing stated about Macon. “He’s a grinder. He’s willing to go in and take all the reps if necessary. He knows the playbook. He’s very, very coach-able.”

Fellow running back Carrington Mosley spoke highly of Macon’s leadership. “He’s a great leader, he leads by example. He comes out here with great passion. And we all try to follow suit, and we all try to encourage everybody to give there best effort every single snap.”

Mosley is trying to establish himself as Macon’s backup. He’s a redshirt-junior who has seen very little playing time in his career thus far, that is certain to change in 2016.

Frankie HIckson

Frankie HIckson

Downing thinks highly of him. “Carrington is our strongest guy. He’s our biggest running back in terms of weight. We expect some great things out of him. He’s come in (to camp) in outstanding shape. He’s carried the ball well. He had a great run in our scrimmage Saturday. Got to the line of scrimmage, the blocking broke down, and on his own he carried 5 guys, just carried them for 7 yards. It’s the kind of run that only a coach appreciates. Everyone in the stands goes oh well its 7 yards, but it was 7 yards that he didn’t have unless he got ‘em.”

Frankie Hickson is also fighting for playing time in the backfield. “Frankie is Frankie,” Coach Downing aptly stated. “He’s a bundle of energy, strong, physical, willing to do anything. I’m going to be excited to see him get in a game, get a chance to get rolling. Get broken in.”

The Flames also have a true freshman, Mitchell Lewis, who is on campus this fall. “He’s done a great job of getting into the system, he’s still learning it.” Coach Downing continued, “He’s still coming up to speed, game tempo so to speak, out there on the field. But he’s coach-able and he’s a tough kid. And I’m excited to see what he’ll do in his role in our offense.”