Whole Nine Sports

Building the Perfect Big 10 RB

Jonathan Taylor Big 10

Mike Hrynyshyn
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeSpencerKKS
Follow WNS on Twitter @WholeNineSports

We’re back at it again today with our “Building the Perfect Prospect” series here at WNS. If you haven’t yet, check out my article on the perfect Big 10 QB.  What’s today’s Frankenstein that we’re building? The perfect Big 10 running back. You’d think that this would be an easy task as the Big 10 has long been known as a run first conference however, this was more challenging than I initially anticipated. Here’s my criteria: speed, strength, head (patience/vision), elusiveness, and hands (pass catching/ball security). In other words, we got a lot of key traits to make this monster RB so, let’s not waste time.

Head (Vision/Patience)

Mohamed Ibrahim

Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

I’m assuming many of you have never heard of Ibrahim so, allow me to introduce him to you. This man single-handedly kept Minnesota in the game against Ohio St. The RS Sophomore ripped off big play after big play against the Buckeyes, including a play that specifically caught my attention. One of three backs in a rotation for the Gophers, Ibrahim is often overshadowed by his teammates Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks but, he is the one that will likely be playing on Sundays.

Speed

Jonathan Taylor RB

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Who’d have thought that the guy who’s running track at UW for fun would be the pick for speed aside from, well, everyone? Sure it’s the obvious pick but, sometimes you gotta go with the obvious pick. Taylor is ridiculously fast both on and off the field and he’s always a threat to score. He’ll likely be a Heisman finalist, lead the nation in rushing yards, and be a top-40 pick when all is said and done. Next.

Strength

JK Dobbins Big 10

JK Dobbins, Ohio State

If you’ve seen my Twitter page, you probably have seen some tweets that would make you think I am anti-Dobbins but, that’s not the case. I like JK Dobbins… to a point. He’s a great power back and he has really good contact balance. I just don’t expect him to be a speedster. In this case he’s the perfect guy for our power component of our perfect back. I’ve never seen Dobbins fall backwards, and arm tackle attempts are futile. His ability to bounce off tacklers reminds me of Benny Snell.

Hands

Raheem Blackshear

Raheem Blackshear, Rutgers

I know what you’re thinking and no, I didn’t make this guy up. A good place to start with this aspect is to look at which backs were conference leaders in receptions and in the Big 10, it’s a rarity for players to make catches out of the backfield so, the pickings were slim. Enter Raheem Blackshear. Who’s not only the owner of a truly epic name but, a young man that had 44 receptions out of the backfield this past year. This includes a game against Wisconsin in which he had 8 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown. Yeah, he did that against Wisconsin of all teams.  The reason no one, including me before a few days ago, has heard of him is simple. He plays for Rutgers. However in 2 seasons of play, he has 0 fumbles in his career, not bad.

Elusiveness

Reggie Corbin Big 10

Reggie Corbin, Illinois

Here at WNS, we love Reggie Corbin. If only his offensive line could block, he would be getting Jonathan Taylor type hype and no that’s not an exaggeration. When you watch Corbin, you’ll see him dancing in the backfield like Kevin Bacon in Footloose (How’s that for a comparison youngsters?). What’s lost in all his dancing east-west is that what looks like a 4 yard loss will more often than not be turned into a long run, because he looks like Tarik Cohen running around a group of children. Sign me up for a RB with his shiftiness.