Recruiting involves a lot of different factors. You have to choose the right school that fits your needs the best. Some decide on whether or not they like they school growing up, while some do it by the school showing them the most attention.
The depth chart and where you start on it is important, the style of offense they run as well. I will break down these last few factors with a running back from Chelsea, Michigan, Berkley Edwards.
One of the schools that is looking at Edwards is the Iowa Hawkeyes. Edwards might be leery about going there with the new offense that the Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is putting in place since he has stated he is doing away with the running back position. Does that mean they don’t plan on running the ball? No. Do they plan on throwing it 80% of the time? Not exactly either.
What this sounds like is that they are going to go to more spread formations with running backs playing different roles. If you’re a faster back, you will probably be a slot receiver or go into motion to utilize your talent.
If you’re more of a bruiser, you will probably expect to be staying in for blocking more. The position might not be called running back anymore, but these kids that are recruited that play it are still going to be running the ball despite the change.
How would Edwards fit into this situation? He isn’t overly tall at 5 feet, 9 inches. He does pack decent size on to that frame at 189 pounds. I’m sure if he attends Iowa, they are going to work on his power and strength in the weight room. He does run his 40 at 4.52 seconds and that is when he slipped on the start. Makes you wonder what he would of done if he gets off cleanly.
I think Edwards could work well in this offense, but it isn’t ideal. Edwards would benefit being in an offense where they are going to give him a fullback and use him to run straight ahead. Iowa in their formations could use him for a variety of things with his talents. The most obvious would be runs. The ones that you would use him for would be dives, draws or even zone running, if that is the route they will go with the offense.
For passing plays, Edwards would need to make sure he works on his blocking. With his physical size he could hold off a linebacker or a blitzing corner which would definitely make him an asset for the Hawkeye offense. Edwards is actually a pretty decent receiver as well. That could really be the x-factor for recruiting him. He could run actual routes or even be a safety valve.
The latter would make him dangerous if the play broke down, because he could gain a lot of yards off of it if no one goes with him. Screen passes would work well as well if the line can set it up correctly. Allowing him to run over a smaller corner could make for big plays.
Looking at the information, it seems kind of odd for Iowa to recruit Edwards, but when you break it down, it could work. The Big 10 was known for their power running, but with the changes in the landscape of college football, teams have to adapt. Iowa looks to be doing that, mimicking the New England Patriots’ offense. Edwards could be a contributor to this Iowa Hawkeyes offense if it is the school he chooses.