SALT LAKE CITY — As the basis of the Utah offense in 2017, it’s going to appear operating again Zack Moss wouldn’t want to do a lot more than extra of the similar to assist the Utes reach 2018.
But that’s now not the best way he sees it.
It’s now not the best way his teammates or coaches see it.
If 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns was once an ideal season, then the junior from Florida has the danger to be one thing really particular.
Offensive lineman Jackson Barton stated the group’s management council sat down with Moss within the offseason to let him understand how a lot more they concept he may succeed in.
“We told him that his practice habits had to be a little bit better,” Barton stated. “He didn’t take offense to that; he’s really taken to heart. We told him, ‘You can be the dude this year. And if you practice like the dude, you’re going to be the dude.’ I’ve seen him taking that mentality, and it’s helped him tremendously. I love blocking for that dude.”
I’ve gotten smarter, quicker and more potent. I’m simply seeking to evolve each day.
Utah operating again Zack Moss
Moss is so vital to what the Utes will attempt to accomplish this 12 months that he’s now not going to take part in a lot of Utah’s reside observe classes this 12 months. He stated that bothers him one of the time, however he tries to concentrate on all of the different facets of the sport – but even so simply making existence painful for would-be tacklers – that he can paintings on all over fall camp.
“I’ve been working with the young guys, working on individual stuff,” he stated. “The game is more mental than physical.”
Moss’ coaches and teammates stated the reserved however pleasant younger guy has finished one thing a large number of naturally proficient athletes can’t do – driven himself to fortify after an already spectacular season.
“Too many (athletes) fall into that trap,” stated cornerbacks trainer Sharrieff Shah, of the mentality that gamers with herbal skill accept beginning and/or contributing with out actual sacrifice. “They think, ‘I’m good already. I’ve met my expectations, and maybe more than other people thought I would do.’ But that’s not good enough. That’s still not enough, and I think he’s starting to recognize that.”
Moss made it transparent he was once particular from his first season with Utah when he averaged 83.7 yards in his first 3 begins. Last 12 months’s efficiency was once sufficient to earn him consideration and accolades from different coaches and the media. Moss has been named to the Doak Walker Award watch record for the country’s perfect operating again.
The former Hallandale High standout’s most evident power is, neatly, his power.
He attributes his dedication to getting more potent each and every season to his skill to – thus far – face up to severe accidents, in addition to, wreak havoc on opposing defenses.
“I spend more time in there than I do on the field or anywhere else,” he stated. “Sometimes more than my own house.”
Moss stated he feels he’s progressed his sport and skills in each means he can.
“I’ve gotten smarter, faster and stronger,” he stated. “I’m just trying to evolve every day.”
He doesn’t set yardage targets for himself. He merely units his requirements in line with what the group wishes from him within the second.
“I’m just trying to get better, one play at a time,” he stated. “I’m not trying to put labels on it. Whatever our team needs, that’s the label I’ll have.”
His dedication to expanding his pace and power would possibly eclipse simply how extra cerebral he’s grow to be.
“He is constantly studying, constantly watching film, constantly on the board learning how to draw up the plays, to talk about it in football language, not just player language, but coach talk,” stated operating backs trainer Kiel McDonald. “The biggest jump for Zack is that he’s just become more immersed in the game, becoming more knowledgeable about fronts and schemes and defenses.”
McDonald stated having a operating again who sees the sport like a trainer can take a group to the following degree.
“That is big,” he stated. “You have to have the ability to communicate. My eyes have to match their feet.”
But it isn’t simply his personal thoughts and frame that Moss is making an attempt to push to new heights. He’s seeking to shed his herbal introverted nature, a minimum of one of the time, with the intention to assist the brand new operating backs competing to take a few of the ones carries from him.
“I’m not a very vocal guy, but I just try to come out here and be the best player, be consistent every day, and hopefully the guys see that standard and try to compete with that,” Moss stated. “We’re all cool with each other. You’d think nine guys from totally different places, different backgrounds, would have some conflict. But everyone is trying to be a better person, a better player no matter where they are on the depth chart. They don’t care about that. They’re just trying to be better. We all love each other.”
McDonald stated the operating again room is very aggressive and remarkably pleasant.
“We’ve gotten better,” he stated. “We’re a much more competitive room compared to last year. We’ve gotten more talented, and the competition is making everybody have to step up.”
And, Moss provides, having 9 or 10 succesful operating backs best makes the Utes more difficult as an entire.
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” he stated. “So if you’ve got nine guys who can run like that, it’s going to make us that much better.”