Sunday, June 21, 2009

Player to Watch: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

Jacquizz Rodgers has been underestimated much of his life, even when he continues to put up numbers he is still told that he is to small. This year might be the year where everything changes. Rodgers is coming off of a season where he rushed for 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Oregon State and Rodgers had it's moment in the sun last year when they beat USC. People talked about Rodgers for a while but he was soon forgotten. This year Jacquizz should be looked at as one of the premier backs in college football. He has the tools for success and if he can have a sophomore season similar to his freshman one then he will certainly get noticed. Let's take a look at why Rodgers demands attention.

Rodgers graduated from Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated in Texas. He was not recruited by any major programs, this has to be because of his size, because he ran for 136 touchdowns in his four years there. 136 touchdowns is absolutely unheard of, I still can not believe that no major schools took a look at Rodgers. So Rodgers ended up with his brother at Oregon State.

You hear it all the time, but Rodgers certainly had something to prove his freshman year at Oregon State. Rodgers certainly proved that he can be one of the best running backs in the country with his breakout freshman season. When you think of smaller running backs you always think of quickness, because if your small you have to be quick to be successful. Rodgers is quick through the hole and side to side. He has great awareness and is able to avoid contact when running downhill.

Along with outstanding quickness Rodgers reads blocks very well. He takes advantage of defenders that attempt to arm tackle as he always keeps his legs moving. Rodgers is 5'7" and runs even lower giving defenders very little to tackle.

Rodgers only downside might be that sometimes he dances to much and gets himself in trouble in the backfield. I don't think that this is anything to worry about as he is still very young. If Rodgers can learn to hit the hole immediately all the time you will see an even better runner in 2009.

Rodgers can also play wide out and return kicks and punts, because of his size he might be able to do more of this immediately as a pro. The NFL is a long way away for Rogers as he will only be a Sophomore this season. Look for Rogers to rack up the yards early and get mentioned as a Heisman candidate. If he can run well all season then look for Oregon State to have a solid season and Rodgers to be on the Heisman list at the end of the year.

(This is his little brother, I think I know where he got his quickness from...)

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