It seems like Boise has their number one running back on the field about 60% of the time, number two about 30%, and a wildcat formation or some sort of mishmash less than 10%.
For a running game to work effectively it is best to have no more than a hair’s difference between the number one running back and the number two. And for optimum effect, little to no difference between number two and number three.
It looks as though Derrick Thomas has been pegged as Boise’s number two running back behind Jay Ajayi. He brings two years of starting experience with him from Butler Community College and he looked good in Spring drills..
Not only does Thomas have good speed, but he is a patient runner. He waits to see where the hole is opening. Some runners predetermine the slot in which they will run. That slot or hole sometimes moves after the snap. The Derrick Thomas type runner gets the ball and watches with a degree of confidence that his offensive lineman will leverage an open hole. Sometimes the runner must wait with some degree of confidence that he hole will open.
At 6’0” and 210 he will carry some power with him. When he gets to the secondary he’s hard to bring down. If I were to compare him to any one particular runner it would be Jay Ajayi.
The odds of Jay Ajayi coming down with an injury are good. This is not doom and gloom stuff, it is reality. Running backs get injuries all the time.
It seems like I’m mentioning Jay Ajayi nearly as often as Derrick Thomas in this post. I don’t think you can say one without saying the other. Given Ajayi’s lack of motivation early last year and his off-campus run-in with law enforcement it may indicate a problem.
Also given Petersen’s lack of patients with men who are getting a free college education, it may be predictable that more will be seen of Derrick Thomas than what is projected. If that’s so Thomas could emerge as a force to be reckoned with when opponents start there game prep for the Broncos.
Talent will get a guy to Boise Stare, but manhood will keep him there. Whose going to be the man?