How Thomas Tyner's Blazing NFL Speed Will Impact Oregon in 2013

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIISeptember 18, 2012


4-star running back and Oregon Ducks commit Thomas Tyner is very fast, and that's probably the understatement of the century.

According to, Tyner runs an absolutely astonishing 4.38 40-yard dash. To put that in perspective with some recent college superstars you may know turned pro, Robert Griffin III ran a 4.41 at the 2012 NFL combine and wideout A.J. Jenkins ran a 4.39.

Both were first-round draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft.

Oh, some back named LaMichael James ran a 4.37, but who's heard of him anyhow? (Note: Sarcasm)

It's important to realize that just because a player is really fast, that does not make him really good, but this is not the case for Tyner.

There is a huge difference between running speed and football speed, and Tyner has both. Sure, he can run extremely fast, but he also complements that speed with an explosive burst out of the backfield.  He has good vision, the ability to make cuts and he can kick it into high gear once he gets to the second level.

He's not some small finesse back mind you, so his size is something else he has going for him. Tyner currently checks in at a solid 6'0'', 200 pounds.

Now that you know what he's bringing to the table, how exactly will Tyner impact the Oregon Ducks in 2013?

The thing to keep in mind is that the Ducks already have one extremely fast back in sophomore De'Anthony Thomas. Thomas, though, is not as big as Tyner (Thomas is only 5'9'', 173 pounds) so Kelly will now have the ability to get Thomas some rest, saving him from the wear and tear of being an every-down back, while not losing speed or explosiveness with his backup.

With Tyner backing up Thomas, the Ducks will essentially have two featured speed-backs that can break the big run. He'll be able to keep both of them fresh, which will keep both of them effective.

Often the quality of a backup running back is undervalued due to the importance of the starter, but in today's day and age of physical football, having two capable backs is a must.

Also, in Kelly's up-tempo offense he can't afford to lose any speed when he goes to the bench.

The Ducks won't be losing anything when Tyner is in the game, and that will pay huge dividends for their offense.

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