Like the rest of his offensive teammates, Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway came out of nowhere to put himself on the map in 2011.
Ganaway was a great complement to Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Kendall Wright on the season. The punishing power back rushed for 1,547 yards and 21 touchdowns on 250 carries.
After compiling a ton of tape on him, I've broken down Ganaway's strengths and weaknesses and assessed where he must improve going forward.
The following is my scouting report on the Baylor running back.
Scouts Inc. has a full report on Ganaway's life that really makes you want to pull for the kid.
His mother passed away from kidney cancer following his freshman year at Houston, and then he transferred to Texarkana College in 2009 where he didn't play football. Then he moved to Baylor in 2009 where he was reunited with Art Briles, who recruited him to play at Houston.
Ganaway also made a mission trip to Kenya in 2010, and was on the dean's list twice at Baylor, graduating with a degree in general studies in December of 2010.
He seems like a great kid, who won't let down whichever franchise selects him.
At 5'11" and 239 pounds, Ganaway is a load. After turning in a disappointing 40-yard dash time of 4.67 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, he stepped up at his pro day and blazed to a time in the low 4.5 range.
That combination of size and speed is evident on tape as he has the ability to bust through the defensive line and do things with the ball at the next level. Don't mistake him for a burner who will outrun players in the secondary, but Ganaway can move well for a guy his size.
Ganaway's biggest strength is his ability to run between the tackles. In Baylor's spread offense, he ran almost everything out of the shotgun, but he showed the ability to gain yards from that spot.
He will grind and power for yards in the middle, and while it may not be pretty, midway through the game you look up and realize he has been ripping off five yards a carry.
He will pick up yards after contact and is always leaning forward, straining for every inch as he goes. He's not a classic straight-ahead back, as he sometimes tries to bounce things outside, but going north-south is where his biggest strength lies.
In Baylor's zone-read offense, Ganaway was always the dive option up the middle. There is a reason for that: he is just simply not very good at running on the edge.
Guys who run on the outside have to possess the ability to make people miss and Ganaway is not that guy. He has good quickness and can be elusive in tight spaces, but isn't the kind of guy who can bounce things outside and make plays on the perimeter.
His bread and butter is running between the tackles and that's where his best fit will be at the next level.
Thanks to Baylor's offense, Ganaway didn't see much duty as a receiver. He was basically the zone-read option up the middle and that was the end of his involvement in plays.
He is decent in pass protection, but it's really hard to make an accurate judgement on him in that regard because quarterback Robert Griffin III moved around the pocket so much. But he is certainly not unwilling to mix it up as a pass-blocker.
But the fact that he had just 12 career catches for 133 yards is a little troubling. He never looked natural running routes out of the backfield and will need to work on that at the next level.
During the 2011 season, Ganaway showed the ability to carry a heavy workload. He finished the year with 250 carries, which showed the ability to stay in games and remain the No. 1 back throughout the season.
That said, he had a right shoulder injury that stopped him from fully working out at the combine. Until 2011, he had never posted more than 109 carries in a season.
Hopefully 2011 wasn't an aberration, and that is the kind of reliable back we can expect Ganaway to become. If so, questions about his durability will go by the wayside.