UCLA football: Damien Thigpen's role may be increased

UCLA running back Damien Thigpen showed he has fully recovered from knee surgery last week. He had 38 yards in four carries against Colorado on Saturday.

Thigpen can expect his role to be increased.

“He’s definitely comfortable being the old Thiggy,” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said.

Which means?

“Some of those handoffs might go for 20 yards rather than four,” Mazzone said.

Thigpen was a sleeper back at times last season, as teams were focused on Johnathan Franklin.

“They had to worry about Johnathan, so we could sneak Thiggy around the field and get the ball to him,” Mazzone said. “He’s now a guy who has to be more of the focal point in the running game. Instead of the side dish, maybe he’s the true entrée.”

Thigpen had 262 yards rushing and caught 18 passes for 211 yards last season before injuring his knee against USC.

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