Fils-Aime hoping to carve niche
On Saturday night in Columbia, the Tennessee offensive coaching staff stunned everyone when they called an end-around to running back Carlin Fils-Aime.
And that "everyone" includes the junior from Naples, Florida.
“We might have ran it once or twice (in practice) because we had other plays we needed to work on as well," he said, smiling. "We didn't run it that much. I didn't think it was going to be called but when it was I was ready to go do what I was told.”
For Fils-Aime, doing what ever he can is the goal. It's why he asked the coaching staff to move him to offense after not being able to find the field as a defensive back — a position he was moved to in the spring under the new coaching staff.
“It was more, I just want to help the team any way I can. Ever since I first got here. I have told the coaches it didn't matter what position they put me in," Fils-aime said.
"I would play o-line if they needed me to. I would give it everything I had. I wouldn't be much help on the o-line, but I would try in order to help any way I could.”
Fils-Aime has played special teams this season and in his first two years at Tennessee he had 273 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Saturday night, Fils-Aime finished with three rushes for 20 yards including the 14-yard score after practicing a week in a new offense.
"Carlin can run, but he's not going to learn the offense in three days just like Jeremy (Banks) won't learn the defense,” Pruitt said on Monday. “We just found a couple of special plays that we felt fit his skill set and kind of went with them. He'll obviously get more reps this week and probably have a bigger role."
Fils-Aime admits he doesn't know what's next for him in Tyson Helton's offense. Right now, he's just trying to learn it.
“My next step would be just be prepared if I am called on again,” Fils-Aime said.
“Prepared to help anyway I can. If it's at running back or where ever. I just want to contribute and have fun with the boys. I will stay after practice with coach and do footwork stuff. I will go watch film with Jarrett going over the plays that coach has put in to make sure I know what to do if I am called to go in.”
It goes without saying that he believes he can help this team and that he showed the coaches Saturday night that he's capable of contributing.
“I would hope so,” Fils-Aime said. “As for now, I don't know. I am just in the process of working. Keeping my head down and do whatever coach wants me to do.
“Honestly, I just wanted to help anyway I could. I didn't know that I was going to get in or what was planned. I just know that I was ready for anything. They called me to go in.
“I was happy of course being able to contribute.”