"I'm pleasantly surprised the way the running backs have come back to compete; Jacque, Willie, Chad and Ronnie," Bunting said. "It's great competition and I am really impressed the way Jacque and Willie have gotten ready for this summer camp."
Bunting continued with his list of pleasant surprises…
"I'm extremely pleased with Jacques Dumas and the condition he is in…Tommy Davis and those guys have spent some time in the weight room," he said. "Thus far, I'm pleased with Jonas Seawright and Rabbit Waddell."
The running game is clearly what it is all about this year, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
"Stop the run and run the ball," Bunting said. "It's very, very simple. In order to be good at it, you have to rep it, and you have to be physical. This year, we can become more physical and scrimmage more. Last year, we hardly scrimmaged at all. We couldn't, because we couldn't afford to get anybody hurt. Now we have more depth.
"We have more players to play inside on defense, more players at offensive line; which is where all of the ‘clanging' goes on. We have an opportunity this year to do more scrimmaging and more hot-tempo-type drills. It started in the spring, and it's carried over into the summer, because we've been able to get some really talented walk-on players – some really talented kids to come in and play offensive and defensive line for us."
"It only takes one man to not know his assignments and bring everything downhill for the offense," Brown said. "It's just fine tuning. We had all of those components just last year. We had all the talent; it was just the fine-tuning. That's what we're trying to do right now; make it a well-oiled machine. That is what camp is for.
"We have a lot of depth," he said. "We have more guys snapping the ball at center. We have a lot of very talented offensive linemen coming in as freshmen. We just have depth all around and we're improving in every aspect.
"All of our starters have had experience starting in games. We've competed against the best. We know what is out there and we know what to expect. All we have to do now is prepare ourselves mentally and make sure we have our game down pat."
"I've put on 21 pounds," Lewis said. ""We've worked hard in the off season to get our strength and our weight up and become more physical and take more pounding. We've got to hit the holes harder and make better reads out there on the field. I'm not saying it's all our faults, but it's a lot on us. If we make better reads, then our running game will become better.
"I've actually gotten quicker. The weight really didn't affect my slashing."
Lewis said the four-way challenge for this year's starting tailback position has only made him want to be that much better.
"It's very exciting for me," Lewis said. "I think it is going to put more pressure on me and the other guys to work harder in practice. The four running backs are only going to make our running game better. If one goes down, then somebody else will be able to step in without missing a beat.