No. 129: Ed Wesley, No. 34, Texas Christian University, Running Back
Last season was not the year that TCU expected to have as a football team, and it most certainly did not go the way Ed Wesley wanted it to go from an individual standpoint. He spent the early part of 2011 sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained in the season-opening loss to the Baylor Bears, and then his production was up and down, as Waymon James and Matthew Tucker took some of his carries.
Speed and a lot of it. Wesley is one of the fastest running backs in the country. He has great acceleration and can truly get up and go once he has the football in his hands. In TCU's read option plays, he takes the handoff and hits the corner in time to outsprint the defense to the first-down marker or the pylon.
At just 5'9", Wesley is tough to see behind the line of scrimmage, and by the time the defense is able to track the dangerous back, he is already up to speed, running past defenders and getting to the second and third level. Another thing I really like about Wesley is he is not a dancer. While he is a smaller back, he does not spend time juking behind the line; rather, he sticks his foot in the ground and gets upfield in a hurry.
There is not a lot of negative to say about Wesley's game. Size is his biggest enemy, as he is not a big man. In his highlight reel, you're not going to see a lot of clips of Wesley busting up the middle or picking up the tough yards. Luckily, the Horned Frogs don't ask the speedster to do these things often; their offense plays to his speed and doesn't force the power portion of his game that is lacking.
Another facet that Wesley should look to improve is his pass-catching. Becoming more of an option in the Horned Frogs passing game will be an asset to the team and his stock for the next level.
Wesley is back, and he is healthy for the 2012 season. That means he and Casey Pachall will be running the read option for the Horned Frogs. Wesley must avoid getting bitten by the injury bug, as he was early in 2011, to maximize his production in 2012.
Ed Wesley, in the Horned Frogs' first season in the Big 12, is gunning for his second 1,000-yard season, and even though Tucker and James will get carries, Wesley has a great shot at that goal. Expect Wesley to push 1,000 yards this year, and if he can step up his role in the passing game, he can add 10-15 receptions to his touches.