BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Since the bye week, Southern has doubled their per-game rushing output to almost 120 yards per game. While still not at the level head coach Eric Dooley set for his running backs, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
A large part of that success lately has come from the play of Kendric Rhymes. The sophomore crossed the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in his collegiate career against Bethune-Cookman this past Saturday.
The Texas native was one of the first big wins in the recruiting sphere for Dooley when he took the job at Southern. Yet just how close was Rhymes to becoming a Texas Southern Tiger?
“It was very close. Very, very close. But I know the head coach that coach Dooley is and the faith and trust I have in him, he’s going to get me on the field and the ball in my hand,” Rhymes said.
Alongside Gary Quarles Jr., C.J. Russell, and Kobe Dillon, Rhymes is part of a Southern rushing attack that the team once labeled a “stable”. After the past two games, Rhymes emerged fully out of the stable and into the open field.
“You just keep plugging at it and keep working, it’s going to come. He’s an extremely talented running back so that just is first of many I say,” Dooley said about the career day for Rhymes.
Despite being just the second year in the SWAC for Rhymes, his knowledge of the game is seen by his teammates.
“It is him being somebody who has a strong IQ. Understand the play, understand how it’s supposed to be executed. I think that’s what’s making him a strong back and making him get success.” Offensive lineman Eli Field said.
The Jaguars now turn their attention to Texas Southern this upcoming Saturday. The Tigers are in the bottom three for rushing defense and come off a performance in which they surrendered over 250 rushing yards to Florida A&M.
Now Rhymes will have a chance at another career day, against a team that heavily recruited him.
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