Welcome to Gator Nation Cameron! (Photo via Tulane Green Wave)
Billy Napier has finally added the depth in the Gators running back room he’d been looking for.
Cameron Carroll has officially joined the Gators’ running back room by committing to- and signing with- Florida. The former Tulane running back played a large role in the Green Wave offense from 2019-21 and appeared to again be poised to carry a heavy workload in 2022. However, Carroll suffered a leg injury in the Green Wave’s season opener that derailed his year.
The commitment adds some nice depth to the Florida running back room.
Before his commitment, the running back position was very thin. Star runners Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne headline the group, but after that, it gets very dicey with the departures of Nay’Quan Wright and Lorenzo Lingard. Luckily, this past offseason, Napier added high school running back Treyuan Webb out of Jacksonville (Trinity HS), but the room still needed depth. With the addition of Carroll, Napier now has the four running backs he likes to carry on the roster.
Who is Cameron Carroll?
Cameron Carroll entered the transfer portal on January 19th and the staff quickly made contact with the fourth year player. At Tulane, Carroll redshirted his freshman year, picked up some steam with a larger role in 2019, and then exploded on the scene in 2020. He rushed for over 700 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns in a shorted college football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following year, in 2021, he rushed for over 500 yards and had six total touchdowns both on the ground. Unfortunately, his season had barely started in 2022 before he suffered a season ending injury in the first game. The Green Wave would go on to win 11 games in a historic turnaround season that culminated in a Cotton Bowl victory over USC.
Cameron Carroll was a largely unrated player out of high school in 2018 according to 247. While Carroll has been playing college football since then, he has two years of eligibility due to his redshirt in 2018, COVID redshirt in 2020 and injury medical hardship in 2022.
How he fits in Billy’s Scheme
Cameron Carroll comes to Florida with over 1,800 total yards of offense and 20 touchdowns through the ground and air in his career with Tulane.
Thus, Carroll’s role promises to be a multi-dimensional one. He can certainly add a passing game dimension that would help incoming transfer Graham Mertz with the ability to check down if necessary, but it is no secret though who the bell cows are in this offense. It is not far fetched to say Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne could eclipse 1,000 yards each this coming season without a proven running quarterback, and at the very least, Carroll will be behind them in the pecking order for carries- and likely even playing time on passing downs, as they both have experience in Napier’s offense.
That said, such a heavy workload in the game of football could lead to either back to an unfortunate injury situation, and while nobody likes to talk about that, the potential is always there- and you’ve got to have a backup plan in case it does. While of course we hope that does not happen, it is critical to have depth in a long season where the grueling schedule of the SEC can get the best of anyone.