Penn running backs coach David Sims has set the motto “Everybody eats” for his position group this season, reflecting the team's run by committee approach. In the season opener against Colgate, three tailbacks each recorded at least five carries, a significant increase from last season. The Quakers rushed for 125 yards, led by junior Jacob Cisneros with 65 yards.
Sims emphasizes the importance of having different runners who bring unique qualities to the offense. The crowded backfield has created a positive and supportive environment among the running backs, with everyone cheering each other on to success. Sims attributes this culture to his players, past and present, who have made it their own.
The senior tailback, Jonathan Mulatu, has the most experience among the group. He took on a lead role when Trey Flowers was injured last season, rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the final game. While Mulatu's experience is valuable, Sims encourages him to rely less on thinking and instead trust his instincts on the field.
Jacob Cisneros missed most of last season due to a broken ankle, making this year's season opener a significant moment for him. During his recovery, Cisneros worked closely with Sims and offensive coordinator Dan Swanstrom to improve his understanding of coverages and pickups. He made a strong comeback in the opener and is determined to maintain a high level of performance.
Sophomore Isaac Shabay had a standout play on special teams with a 44-yard return, showcasing his agility and playmaking ability. Sims is eager to give Shabay more opportunities in the upcoming game against Bucknell. While Sims is open to the idea of one back earning the lead role as the season progresses, the motto “Everybody eats” will remain the same, highlighting the importance of each player contributing to the team's success.
– The Philadelphia Inquirer