Tigers hoping new look offense leads to turnaround

By T. Scott Boatright

Grambling State University head football coach Broderick Fobbs is hoping that an offensive makeover leads to a total turnaround following a frustrating COVID-shortened spring 2021 season.

The G-Men went 0-4 in the spring and averaged more than 100 yards less offensive yards per game than the opposition and were outscored by an average of 36.75 – 16.50.

That makeover begins with the foundation — the trenches — of GSU’s offense.

“We’re totally different up front,” Fobbs said. “ We’re a totally different offensive line. We’re a lot more physical and a lot more dominant. What we’re doing offensively really compliments our talent. Our offensive coordinator (Eric Marty) is doing an awesome job of making sure he puts our players in the right situations and really exposes what we do well.”

Heading into Sunday’s season opener against Tennessee State at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio, Grambling expects to likely play at least a pair of returning quarterbacks in Elijah Walker, a returning junior who received the most playing time during GSU’s 2021 spring season, and Aldon Clark, who has noticeably stepped up his game in preseason workouts.

“Aldon has really stepped his game up,” Fobbs said. “He’s done a really good job of doing the extra stuff like being in the weight room a little  extra and being in the film room a lot more than he’s been in the past. He really believes in his new quarterback coach, and Coach Marty really believes in him.”

Walker said the competition behind center is benefitting Grambling’s entire quarterbacking corps.

“I come to work every day and know the other guys in the (quarterback) room are going to push me, so of course it makes us all better,” Walker  said. “I feel good about my hold of this offense and once everyone gets comfortable, we’ll be great, in my opinion.

Grambling will likely look to heavy doses from it’s  rushing attack featuring a versatile running back corps including former Arcadia standout CJ Russell, Keilon Elder and small but powerful and shifty Darquese Brutton, especially early on during the season.

Brutton, a 5-7, 178-pounder who runs tougher than his frame would make most expect and has drawn some comparisons to former GSU standout Martez Carter.

“He does have that same type of quickness and speed,” Fobbs said of comparing Brutton to Carter. “(Brutton) is a little shorter, but he has a lot of those same capabilities. We hope that ends up being the case.”

Former Arcadia standout running back CJ Russell has put on weight and muscle and has also had a strong fall camp after averaging 5.6 yards per carry and turning in 148 rushing yards during the spring.

Adding a little power to Grambling’s rushing attack will be Keilon Elder, a north-south thumper who totaled 132 yards in the spring while leading GSU with two rushing touchdowns.

“I like the mix and different skill sets we have at running back,” Fobbs said. “Those three backs and two or three other guys will get a chance to showcase their talents early on.”

Photo:  by T. Scott Boatright

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