Middle drill? No problem.

Senior running back Chester Johnson has seen plenty of those in his days with Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, so Friday's first such helmet-rattling drill of 2005 was nothing new.

At least you know what to expect in such tight quarters. It's those opposing defensive backs who get an unimpeded, running start for a tackle that have Johnson on edge.

The former Evangel High standout is part of a crucial senior class that will be expected to provide leadership this season, but he's also in a logjam for playing time at running back after a 489-yard output in 2004.

"I want to be the guy with the most carries," said Johnson, whose 117 attempts led the squad last season, "but I don't worry about it. I give everything I have. I go out and work as hard as I can, and then let it happen."

Johnson is the reliable veteran at his position, with Port Barre product Abdule Levier returning and senior Dwight Lindon moved to fullback this season. The buzz in camp has come from speedy freshmen Deon Wallace and Tyrell Fenroy.

Including redshirt Caleb Rubin and Josh Harrison, it's a group that could operate as a committe until roles are established.

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Bruce Brown
bbrown@theadvertiser.com