Every college football team has that one guy who is known as the "fan favorite." That one guy who fans go crazy for when he enters the game or when his name is announced over the loud speaker.
For the LSU Tigers, that one guy is junior-to-be running back Alfred Blue.
The 6'2", 215-pound junior is one of four running backs who is "starter worthy" on LSU's 2012 football roster. But with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Kenny Hilliard also expected to receive carries in this crowded backfield, Blue's role is somewhat undefined heading into the 2012 season.
What we do know about Blue is that he is probably the fastest of the four LSU backs and he is hands down the best running back at catching the ball out of the backfield and using his speed to break free from opposing defenders. He has 4.4 40-yard-dash speed, but he is also able to use his 215-pound frame to run between the tackles if called upon to do so.
This past season, Blue rushed for 539 yards and seven touchdowns while sharing carries with the same crew of backfield mates. But what makes Blue so dangerous is his big-play ability. He averaged an eye-popping 6.9 yards per carry, which is exceptional for any running back, no less one playing against some of the top defenses in the nation in the SEC.
Blue had runs of 20-plus yards in four of the last seven games he played in during the 2011 season, including a 48-yard touchdown run that really broke the game open against Georgia in the SEC title game.
So what do we make of these big numbers?
What we make of it is that Blue has what it takes to have a breakout year for the Tigers in 2012, and if he gets his chance, he will likely do so. With his exceptional speed, pass catching skills and big-play ability, it will be awfully hard for Les Miles and his LSU coaching staff to keep this guy off the field in 2012.
Ware, Ford and Hilliard were all big-time recruits coming out of high school, therefore all three of those guys had much larger expectations coming to Baton Rouge than Blue did. Being only a 3-star recruit, Blue was expected to spend time as a backup and learn from the big boys, but his play has shown that he is ready to take that next step and handle the running load for LSU in 2012.
Now, all we can do is sit back and see how often Blue's name is called.
You know that the LSU faithful will be cheering loudly whenever it is.
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