5’11” 206 pounds; Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Not only is it obvious that Josh Heupel’s scheme relies on elite running backs for a balanced attack, but it’s also clear that his system runs best when he has a two-back set. His 2017 Missouri Tigers offense had Ish Witter and Larry Rountree III, and the 2018 UCF Knights had Adrian Killins and Greg McCrae. Simply put, he’s big on two backs.
Well, if Tiyon Evans will be one back for Tennessee football, Jabari Small will likely be the other. Small is the only returning back who saw a significant amount of carries last year, as he ran the ball 26 times for 117 yards and caught four passes for 24 yards.
The graduate of Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tenn., which is still in Shelby County just outside of Memphis, saw lots of action in the spring and is projected to see as many touches as Evans. He’ll likely be more of an all-purpose back, giving him a variety of opportunities to make plays and more opportunities to make big plays, which is why he’s ahead of Evans.
Of course, Small could be a feature back as well if Jaylen Wright, a speedster, makes a name for himself as an all-purpose back. Either way, though, he’s likely to see a lot of touches, and in this system, that’s conducive to him receiving national recognition.