OGDEN — The Wildcats were running wild on Saturday morning.
In Weber State's second spring football scrimmage of the year, running backs C.J. Tuckett, Barrinton Collins and Josh Booker each enjoyed big days at Stewart Stadium. Between them, the trio accounted for nearly 300 yards rushing and five touchdowns, and WSU's running backs also combined for more than 100 yards receiving as well.
Tuckett was buried on the depth chart before bursting onto the scene late last season with a pair of explosive performances — a combined 465 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in the Wildcats' last two games of 2011. He led the way Saturday with 17 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns, including a 55-yard scoring scamper.
"We still have a lot of depth at running back, there's a lot of guys that want to compete and play," the senior from Idaho said. "So it's fun, it's competitive and that's what you want.
"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing, keep being consistent. It's spring ball and you just keep working and getting better every day. You always want to be No. 1, but you never know until that first game. So I'm gonna be fighting and trying to take that spot. You can't ever be complacent, you've got to keep that momentum and keep building each week and try to get better.
"Momentum is a big thing, it can help you or hurt you, and I definitely want to ride that wave (from last season) and keep building on that and continue to try and be successful," said Tuckett, who also had scoring bursts of 3 and 5 yards in Saturday's scrimmage. "When you're a senior, you're expected to step up and lead the team, and I'm ready to take that role. I'm just trying to carry over that momentum from last year, and we've got a real tight-knit group this year, so we're excited to start next season and start playing."
Collins, a sophomore, had 13 carries for 92 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown run, and Booker, a junior, added 88 yards on 13 carries, including a 41-yard TD.
Junior quarterback Jordan Adamczyk had another solid scrimmage, completing 22-of-34 passes for 343 yards and one touchdown. The aerial highlight of the day came when he hit Erik Walker for a 90-yard completion that set up one of the Wildcats' rushing touchdowns. Walker also caught a 25-yard TD pass from Adamczyk. Chase Nakamura also hauled in a touchdown pass, an 11-yarder from Tyler Parson, and sophomore Xavian Johnson had three receptions for 76 yards.
Defensively, senior lineman Trevor Pletcher, who first-year head coach John L. Smith singled out as one of the team's true strengths, led the way with three sacks.
"I think we need a lot more — two, three, four or five more weeks of spring ball," Smith said. "The problem is we don't get it. But there was some improvement today. We still need to clean up a few things. We had a few penalties, but that's the way spring ball is.
"I think our offensive line right now is pretty good. We only have seven guys, but they've been just hanging in there and kinda holding together and taking a lot of snaps. So I like their courage and the way that they've approached spring and they've actually just grinded through it.
"Defensively, I look at that side of the ball and I think we have a couple kids over there that we're gonna have to get 'em in good positions that could be dominating for us," Smith said. "Pletcher, we have trouble blocking Pletcher, he could be a dominating player in this league I think. We have to scheme on his abilities and use him in great situations and try and get him singled out and things like that."
Smith said his squad is "real thin linebacker-wise" and that the Wildcats' kicking game needs a lot of work.
"I haven't done near as much in the kicking game as I would like to get done this spring, kicker and punter," he said. "That, to me, is something we're going to have to spend a lot of time on this summer."
There will be two more practices this week before the 'Cats conclude spring practice with the annual Purple and White game on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Stewart Stadium. It will be preceded by a "chalk talk" presented by the Wildcat Club at 4:30, giving fans a chance to hear from Smith and the new WSU coaching staff.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company