Coming in to the Indianapolis Colts‘ first preseason game against the New York Jets, our eyes were on a few key players. Some were excited to see how last year’s top draft pick Bjoern Werner had progressed; others (like me) were excited to get our first glimpse of potential diamond-in-the-rough receiver Donte Moncrief. But the bright spot in an otherwise dreary injury parade was a player we hadn’t really heard anything about, Dan Herron, a second year running back out of Ohio State.
In the first half, Dan “Boom” Herron rushed seven times and caught six passes for a total of 62 yards and one touchdown (no word on whether or not he’s had to take on punter Pat McAfee for nickname rights). Prior to this game, Herron wasn’t on my radar, but after hearing his name repeatedly Thursday evening, he is now.
He’s an Ohio guy, born and raised, recruited to the Buckeyes by Jim Tressel, then drafted in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals, and is best known for his special teams contributions. He came to the Colts in October 2013 from the Bengals’ practice squad and ended up on Injured Reserve with a torn pectoral by December.
So what do the Colts have in Herron? He might be something of a reclamation project, which the Colts seem to be into these days. He put up good stats during his Buckeye days, but he was among the players toward the end of Tressel’s reign that got on the wrong side of the NCAA for financially related violations. So far the NFL phase of his career has been a cycle of promise, injuries and cuts.
He might be a late bloomer or he might have just had a good day, but he was in there among the first and second stringers (and most of the second stringers he was with were there due to injury concerns). And he’s had good days before, so he might just be developing a habit. The Colts’ running back depth chart is currently written in dry erase marker, not ink, and Herron has shown me enough to make me want to see more.