With star RB Eric Gray declaring for the NFL Draft, we will now get our best look at true freshman Jovantae Barnes and true freshman Gavin Sawchuck. Barnes and Sawchuck could very well be the running-back duo for at least the next two years.
Jovantae Barnes has 89 rushing attempts for 411 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season. “I have a bigger role in this game,” said Barnes. Barnes talked about how he has been preparing for the larger role saying, “I feel like Demarco Murray, Eric Gray, and Marcus Major, and all my other running back teammates they help me build confidence to step up to this role and I feel like all season this is what I’ve been building my confidence for.”
“We already knew who was opting out so we knew we had to step up so just taking things into our own hands and making sure we can step up without coaches that was one of the biggest things we did because as a team we had our own meetings as groups we had our own meetings,” Barnes said. Barnes has seen his role increase seemingly game by game but as for his teammate Gavin Sawchuck who has only played in 1 game this will be his biggest opportunity yet.
“I’m just excited to play,” said Sawchuck. Gavin Sawchuck talked about getting his greatest opportunity saying, “Whenever I get my opportunity I want to do my best I want to be ready for the opportunity so I’m excited for the opportunity and the chance I have in this bowl game.” Sawchuck talked about how much he has improved so far saying, “A lot, Coach Demarco has been a great coach, coaching me with things I never thought of before”
“I feel like Gavin’s been great the whole season Gavin has a smile on his face he’s been confident being confident even when we had our lows and always keeping us up that’s why I love to go to Gavin or anything I do wrong he always makes sure my head is up in the game or even in practice so the whole year Gavin never had a frown on his face he never was down on himself he was always up always had a smile always ready to come to practice and ready to compete and he did that now he gets a great opportunity to go and show his talents that I know he has,” Barnes said.
“Might be one of the fastest guys on the team,” WR Marvin Mims said about Sawchuck. Barnes and Sawchuck will get a great opportunity in the bowl game and it will certainly be something to watch. The Sooners will get their first look at Jovantae Barnes as the bell cow back and Gavin Sawchuck in his first big opportunity.
The Seminoles defense will be a tough test for the young backs. Jovantae Barnes spoke about the Seminoles defense saying, “Their defense is incredible they have fast players they have physical players they can almost do everything so it’s going to be a good battle against us too and I feel like it’s going to be a great game.”
With Eric Gray and Marcus Major unavailable, you can expect to see Jovantae Barnes, Tawee Walker, and Gavin Sawchuck. Sooner fans will get their best look at Sawchuck so far, as I expect Sawchuck to get a solid amount of reps on Thursday. The true freshman backs are one of the more intriguing things to watch in the Cheez-it Bowl. Hopefully, Barnes and Sawchuck will shine in the sunshine state.