T.J. Logan came to North Carolina with a lot of hype.
But then came the nagging injuries. And a first-year season that wasn’t everything the junior tailback thought it would be.
At the close of his sophomore year, Logan started picking up momentum, picking up two 100-yard performances in UNC’s final three games in 2014. Then the season ended.
And now, he’s just waiting — mostly patiently — for his next big game.
“Oh, yeah. Most definitely. Most definitely,” said freshman tailback Ty’Son Williams when asked if Logan’s big game is on the horizon. “I mean, he’s gonna stay steady, and it’s gonna come soon.”
“Anytime T.J. touches the ball, he’s liable to go the whole way. You never know when it’s coming for a guy like that,” said sophomore tailback Elijah Hood. “He doesn’t get rattled really easily by the changes or anything. He’s definitely a calm, cool, collected guy.”
But it hasn’t come yet. In three games, Logan has rushed for 59 yards with an average of 19.7 yards per game. He has racked up 111 kickoff return yards, averaging 22.2 yards per return. Logan, who ran for 582 yards in 2014, said in the spring he wanted to rush for 1,000 yards this season.
“I’m gonna have to pick it up a little bit, I think, but it’s all gonna come in time,” he said. “I’m not going to rush it or anything like that.”
He’s learned not to rush it. He’s learned that not every play needs to be an explosive one down the field.
“When you’re out there, you’re always trying to hit the home run ball, but I feel like you gotta be able to work it, just churn out little yards and then be able to pop out the long one to put your team ahead,” he said.
Logan said he senses his big game coming in the way he’s been practicing as well as in his growing knowledge of the playbook. Running backs coach Larry Porter agreed.
“I think it all starts with rhythm — just having a feel for the game and certain plays,” Porter said. “He practices hard, and you can see that in the way he runs in games, so I think that will lead to him eventually catching rhythm in a game and having a big performance.”
UNC takes on Delaware at home Saturday, a team that has only allowed an average of 71.7 rushing yards per game.
Hood, who said UNC wants to have at least 200 rushing yards per game, said the running backs aren’t worried about that statistic. And Logan isn’t either, especially after a successful Tuesday practice.
“I’m real confident,” he said about Saturday’s game. “I feel like this was the first good day we had. We had a couple of mess-ups, but we gotta come out tomorrow, clean up those things and we’ll be good.”
So maybe Logan won’t break out against Delaware. Maybe he will. He’s patient.
But if he has anything to say about it, that big game is coming, and soon.
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