Move of Miami Hurricanes Frosh DeeJay Dallas to RB paying dividends


The move of Miami Hurricanes Freshman DeeJay Dallas to running back is paying huge dividends. He has passed everyone but Travis Homer on the depth chart at the position.

Dallas’ move to running back has been an important part of the Miami Hurricanes success over the past few weeks. Dallas was recruited to Miami as an athlete. He was slotted at wide receiver in spring ball and continued there in training camp. Dallas was a quarterback and defensive back in high school.

He spent most of the early part of the season as a kick returner. The season-ending injury to former starting running back Mark Walton limited the Hurricanes depth at running back. Homer moved up into the starters role and was primarily backed up by Junior Trayone Gray.

Miami needed another playmaker at the position and to increase their depth. Head Coach Mark Richt and Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown switched the shifty Freshman soon after Walton was declared out for the season.

Dallas has 19 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns and three receptions for 70 yards this season. All but 16 of those yards have come over the last three games. He had a big 49-yard reception in the victory over North Carolina three weeks ago.

All of his rushing yards and 18 of his 19 carries this season have come in the in the past two weeks. Richt even used Dallas in the Wildcat on a few carries.

Dallas has also been used on kickoff returns throughout the season. He has two returns for 40 yards this season. Dallas has also recorded an assisted tackle on special teams.

Dallas’ versatility has helped the Hurricanes tremendously this season. He told Hurricanesports.Com.

"“When I came in, I was a receiver…In the recruiting process I told Coach Richt, ‘I can play anything. Whatever I’ve got to do, I’ll do it.'”"

Running back is a tough position for a Freshman to learn. Richt emphasizes that his backs know pass protection before receiving a lot of playing time. Dallas discussed his adjustment from wide receiver to running back.

"“It was tough at first learning pass protection and new terminology…At receiver, I just need to know my routes and route concepts. At running back, you need to know the route concepts and the pass protection and what the line is doing and how they’re blocking. That was kind of tough in the beginning.”"

Miami offensive coordinator Thomas Brown spoke about Dallas’ maturation this season with Hurricanesports.

"“I’m proud of DeeJay,…He has a long way to go in the process…He’s been an unselfish guy the entire time, playing on special teams at the beginning of the year and playing a bunch of receiver…He’s coming in every single day and trying to find ways to get better and improve. He’s an alpha-male-type personality, which I think is good for our room and our program. He’ll continue to find ways to get better.”"

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Dallas role has been important. He takes some of the pressure in the backfield off of Homer. His big-play ability also means that opposing defenses have to account for him when he’s in the game. Dallas’ role in the offense should continue to grow as the season moves along.