Lindsay still a threat despite Boyd’s return to Martinsburg
It’s difficult to estimate the effect Trey Boyd’s return to the Martinsburg Bulldog lineup will have on senior running back Deamonte Lindsay.
A recent commitment to West Virginia’s 2015 recruiting class, Lindsay — a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior — ran for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns on 132 carries in 2013 to help lead Martinsburg to an unprecedented fourth consecutive Class AAA state championship. A complement to former Bulldog quarterback Malique Watkins’ abilities to move the ball on the perimeter of the field and create big plays in traffic, Lindsay was coach Dave Walker’s bulldozer last season. His ability to pick up chunks of yards (he averaged 8.4 yards per carry) while commonly running up the middle made Martinsburg’s offense incredibly difficult to defend.
In fact, Huntington’s 9-7 loss to the Bulldogs in the state title game was the only instance in which Martinsburg was outgained all season while finishing with a 13-1 record. Martinsburg’s only loss came in a 35-34 shootout against Leesburg, Va.-based Tuscarora High School in which Martinsburg rallied back in the fourth quarter and almost overcame a significant early deficit.
But Lindsay’s role — at least on offense — could change somewhat with the return of Boyd. As a sophomore and before moving to Florida, Boyd ran for nearly 900 yards and was named the Class AAA title game Most Valuable Player for the Bulldogs when they routed Cabell Midland, 38-14.
Conventional wisdom would say that Boyd would return to his spot at tailback for the Bulldogs in 2014, but Walker has said that Lindsay’s attributes have evolved in a year’s time.
“As a runner, he’s kind of a slasher. He’s put on 15 or 20 pounds of muscle since last year and the upside on him is that he’s big and still has a lot of potential to grow,” Walker said.
Numerous requests for comment on his role or his commitment to WVU went unanswered by Lindsay.
Walker, who has produced two Hunt Award winners, a Huff Award winner and whose players have claimed three Kennedy awards, said that while the scholarship offer from the Mountaineers was unparalleled in Lindsay’s recruiting process, it didn’t surprise anyone within the Martinsburg program.
“We knew he’s a great player. He’s worked very hard to get better and we’re very happy for him,” Walker said. “He already had an offer from Toledo, and James Madison has been ready to offer too, I think they were waiting on some test scores to come back.”
Lindsay’s future in Morgantown is likely to see him on the defensive side of the ball, playing safety. In the meantime, Walker is busy devising a plan to maximize the potential of Lindsay and a talented cast of Martinsburg players on offense.
Making this pursuit somewhat more of a challenge was that Lindsay missed much of the out-of-season coaching period, leaving Martinsburg unable to put all of its ideas in motion.
“He suffered through an injury in the spring, and we used him sparingly during the three-week period,” Walker said.
The key might be in found in Watkins’ replacement at quarterback, junior Carter Walburn (6-2, 155). Walker said that Walburn, who started as an outside linebacker in 2013 and served as a backup to Watkins and saw limited varsity time that included taking some snaps in Martinsburg’s 34-0 win over Spring Valley in the first round of the playoffs, has a strong arm and will be the likely starter.
Walker also added that Boyd (5-10, 185) could find himself as the, “trigger man” in a wildcat formation much of the time, which would leave Lindsay at running back. With Walburn under center, Boyd would foreseeably line up at tailback with Lindsay paving the way at fullback.
“We like to use the wildcat but we still use a lot of two-back sets,” Walker said.
The glut of talent at running back — senior Eric Brown (5-11, 190), who also stars at outside linebacker, also returns after running for 871 yards and 10 TDs — could conceivably improve Martinsburg’s defense as well, as the less time any of the backs spend playing offense keeps them that much fresher to play defense.
Therefore, while Lindsay enters the season as Martinsburg’s most recognizable name thanks to his WVU commitment, it is the depth of talent he is part of that will put the Bulldogs in good position to become the state’s first program to win five consecutive state titles.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsreallyDT.