I predict T.J. Yeldon will be the best RB Alabama has seen in the last 10 years.
This is in no way a swipe at Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson or Eddie Lacy for that matter, but Yeldon is going to be amazing.
Yeldon is already 6'1" 210 pounds. At his peak of physical maturity he'll probably be close to 225 pounds. He runs with good pad level and his burst is impressive.
For me, the most eye-popping trait he possesses is his ability to see the hole and attack it.
The 4.4 speed is a huge separating factor. While Ingram and Richardson are power backs, Yeldon is a legit home run threat. He can take the ball the distance anytime he touches it.
With his acceleration, that vision is going to be the difference between he and the other recent Bama greats.
When Yeldon's career at Alabama is done, who will have the most rushing yards?
He reminds me of another great SEC back—Darren McFadden. They are similar in stature and both have big-time speed, but I'd even say Yeldon is more powerful.
By the time 2014 comes around, expect Yeldon to be the top rated collegiate RB headed into the NFL draft after his junior season.
Jonathan Gray of Texas may have something to say about that, but at this point Yeldon is the best freshman or sophomore RB I've seen in the past two years.
If he gets the carries as a freshman, he will break Ingram's all-time rushing record of 3,931 yards by the time he's done. I know all we've seen from him is the Spring Game, but he isn't likely to see a defense as good as his own.
That said, he dominated in the final spring practice.
Look at these plays from the A Game:
Yeldon showed just as much effectiveness taking the handoff as he did as a receiver.
He is easily the best receiver of the three stud Bama backs. Richardson caught 29 passes in 2011, but if Yeldon gets the opportunity, he could catch that many this year alone.
Nick Saban would be wise to make sure Yeldon gets an adequate amount of touches this year. Eddie Lacy, Jalston Fowler and fellow freshman Demetrius Hart are all talented, but none of them have Yeldon's ability.
Every once in awhile a freshman comes along that deserves to be vaulted ahead of teammates that are his senior. It happened with Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma and with McFadden at Arkansas.
I think Yeldon is that type of player as well.
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