EAST LANSING - There has been a recent history of bruising running backs at Michigan State, and Jehuu Caulcrick (Sr.) continues the tradition.
He is the “Thunder” to Javon Ringer’s (Jr.) “Lightning”, and this season — with a new offensive philosophy that might actually have him play at the end of games in which the Spartans lead by a few touchdowns — Caulcrick will have a chance to show the world he is ready for the next level.
But first, a bowl game would be nice.
The Spartan football team has remained home after Thanksgiving since Caulcrick’s first season. So to spend the Holidays in warm weather will undoubtedly be Caulcrick’s and every Spartan’s goal.
After that, improving his rushing statistics would go a long way toward telling the NFL that Jehuu Caulcrick is ready for the next level. Since an impressive first season; 619 yards at 5.5 per carry with 5 touchdowns; Caulcrick looks to reverse a trend. His total yardage has dropped in each of the last two seasons, and least year he registered just 3.9 yards-per-carry.
But as was not always evident in the past, Caulcrick’s role will likely be determined by game situations. Under the new coaching regime, short yardage situations and big leads will be seen as opportunities to run the ball conservatively — perhaps with a workhorse like Caulcrick — and not opportunities to continue with the same blizzard-of-an-offense that might just lead to multiple turnovers.
Only, Caulcrick must be able-bodied.
“Caulcrick is beginning to come into his own as a punishing runner, but he must remain healthy,” said Dantonio in an MSU release.
Although he has not missed extensive amounts of time, his play has been limited in the past by nagging injuries. While injuries may come with the job, being effective with them — and not just playing through them — is often what separates players.
For Caulcrick, proving that he can stand the rigors of a Big Ten schedule will help the 2007 Spartans compete for a coveted bowl game. It could also go a long way toward showing people that he just might have the ability to perform on Sunday’s.