Green and White running backs have been raising fans from their seats in Mosaic Stadium throughout the 2022 CFL season.
Jamal Morrow leads the CFL in rushing with 335 yards. The second year veteran has a pair of 100+ yard rushing games so far this year, along with 78 yards against the Redblacks last week.
In Week 5, Frankie Hickson delivered the knockout blow for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their win over Ottawa, with an electrifying 63 yard touchdown in the late stages of the first half.
Even Riders legend, George Reed draws a loud applause when he appears on the video screen during Rider home games.
The current Riders backfield is a big reason for the Riders storming out to a 4-1 start.
Despite being reduced to mostly being a returner in his first season with the Riders, Morrow knew he was capable of big things if he was given the chance to be a starter on the offence.
“I’ve always had a quiet confidence about me, it’s something when you work hard in the offseason, you reap the benefits of it.”
One element of Morrow’s game that he brings to the Riders offence is his passing catching ability. So far this season, the running back has 17 catches for 182 yards. He noted it’s something that he is comfortable with since he spent a lot of time at in college as a receiving running back.
Morrows added as a playmaker , his mindset every time when he touches the ball is to make a big play, whether it’s carrying it as a running back, catching the pigskin as a receiver or fielding the ball as a returner.
Despite being being a backup on a weekly basis for Saskatchewan, Hickson was fifth in the CFL in league rushing with 216 yards entering this week’s action. His best game was in Week 5 where he ended up with 92 yards rushing.
The Liberty product isn’t worried about waiting for an opportunity despite not being a starter at this point.
“It’s not a lot of waiting, that’s the beauty of the CFL game, it’s so fast, and you’re involved in so many things that you don’t have time to really thinking about what you didn’t get, when all you can focus on is optimizing what you do.”
Both players have their similarities but there are some differences.
When asked about which running back did each player admire growing up, each provided different answers.
Morrow said he was a fan of the quick shifting speed backs, including Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans, longtime veteran LeSean “Shady” McCoy and Giovanni Bernard currently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 25 year old Hickson provided a response very rich in history, noting with a planned future in coaching he took questions like that very seriously.
Number one in his all time rankings according to the Rider rookie belongs to Detroit Lion legend, Barry Sanders.
Multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson and Chicago Bear Hall of Famer Walter Payton also sit high on Hickson’s all time running back list.
When it comes to current runners, the former Liberty Flame pointed out San Francisco 49er “Receiver Back” Deebo Samuel and New York Giant Saquon Barkley as modern players he admire.
“You kind of morph into what you see and try to kind of evolve your game as much as you can.” says Hickson. ”
Morrow is no stranger to running back royalty as well. The former Washington State running back is well aware that he shares an ala mater with the greatest running back in Rider history, George Reed.
Saskatchewan’s running backs will be looking to add to their totals when they square off with the Toronto Argonauts in Touchdown Atlantic. You can catch the game on 620 CKRM, Countdown to Kickoff begins at 9:00, opening kickoff is 12:00.