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Cats need running back Raymond Sanders to lead a young, thin UK backfield

Raymond Sanders carried 13 times for 115 yards and a TD against Kent State. (Victoria Graff photo)

Raymond Sanders carried 13 times for 115 yards and a TD against Kent State. (Victoria Graff photo)


With the season-ending injury running back Josh Clemons suffered, that puts more weight on senior Raymond Sanders to perform — and lead — a young and not overly deep Kentucky backfield.

“It was a big blow losing him. He is our friend, our brother. He had been working hard. He had his confidence and speed and was getting better (after being hurt last year). We knew how hard he worked and how much he put into it. It was just heartbreaking after he put so much work in to see him get hurt,” Sanderss said. “The depth in the backfield, we all push each other and make each other better. I feel like a lot of guys can come in and get it done. Everyone wants to be the best back or be part of the best backfield in the nation and that is what we are pushing toward and what we compete for every day.

“I already wanted to be that guy and the guy who touched the ball more. In the SEC, you always need two or three backs that can carry the ball. Not saying that those other guys can’t do it. All of us have to contribute. To see him go down was hard. We are all going to pick it up. He will be there supporting us and his eyes will also be there to help and making sure we doing the correct things on the field. He will see things that we can’t see and that will help.”

Sanders expects sophomore Dyshawn Mobley to help offset Clemons’ loss.

“He is just getting stronger and faster. He is used to game speed now. As a freshman, things are not as slow as you want them to be. Now I can see he is able to catch on quicker. He is a power back with speed and a great guy to be around. He will be good this year,” Sanders said.

True freshman JoJo Kemp has also impressed Sanders during summer workouts.

“ JoJo is a real good guy. He comes out and works hard,” Sanders said. “He had a good summer and he’s learning. He anxious and he’s out there asking me and JonJon (George) questions and is a guy that wants to learn, I always want to help. He just has to keep coming along, keep learning and keep asking questions and he will be fine.”

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  1. Larry Pup

    I would love to see Mobley have a banner year. Also I think George will be a force, and Kemp too. I hope our O-Line can stay healthy and play well. I would like to hear more on our O-Line.

  2. Tcat

    I strongly and respectfully disagree with the Title Larry… RB may be our best and deepest position group even without Josh C. It sucks we lost him because he did/does have the most NFL potential of the group IMO but George, Sanders (starter) and Mobley are all solid, Warren has also lost 20# and can catch and run with power inside. Please Believe this is our deepest position group by far…

  3. Ira

    I agree Tcat, losing Clemons was not as big a blow as some would like us to believe. From a personal standpoint hate it for this guy, but we haven’t seen production from this guy in 2 years. Those stats are not being missed.

    It would be a blow if Sander’s had went down for the season, then we’d all be saying Clemons had to step up and replace a really good back that can run, catch, and pass block out of the backfield. No production is being missed. Is that cold, terribly so, and I will say it again, I hate it for Clemons. Looked forward to what he was going to do this season, but we are in good hands with Sanders, George, Mobley( who looked dang good this spring) and don’t forget we have an incoming freshman RB that I believe will do well also in JoJo Kemp.

    Think we are still fine at RB.

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