The running back position is one that has a lot of different styles that
are all effective. The five nine, quick, change of direction kind of a
back. The big old back, the six foot, 215 pound downhill runner. I
think what college coaches look for in running backs and their tailbacks
and fullbacks is versatility, really. You got to have vision first.
You have to understand. You have to be able to see the hole and see the
adjustment of where you need to run the football - your running lane.
You have to have explosiveness. You have to get to the line of
scrimmage in a hurry. You got to press that hole, that you're supposed
to be running to, in a hurry, in a split second so that the defense only
has a second to react. Once you do that, that ability to stick your
foot in the ground, or make that jump cut to avoid that tackler or to
get into the open and maybe get around your blocker are key things.
There has to be an ability to make a defender miss whether it's by
power, running over them or whether it's by change in direction. Right?
Those are some of the things, basic things, that a coach is looking
for. Then there got to be that burst - BOOM! That acceleration. That
chance where two defenders are coming and I, as a tailback, have the
ability to split those guys with that burst and get up the field. And
then versatility, I talk about catching the ball out of the backfield.
If you can catch the ball out of the backfield you can be in every down.
Blocking - if you can block, carry out your assignments on the fakes
and do the little things, as a running back you can be in on every down.
If you're 5' 9", you better be a strong son-of-a-gun with great
quickness because that's how you'll overcome the concern about the
height. Understand what kind of a back you are. Use the basic skills
that you have to have as a tailback and make them miss guys.