Jourdan Brooks: The Most Underrated and Underused Player At Rutgers

Josh RosenbergCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - DECEMBER 04:  Jourdan Brooks #39 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights runs a fourth quarter touchdown against Daniel Covington #30 of the Louisville Cardinals at Rutgers Stadium on December 4, 2008 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Cincinnati 47 Rutgers 15:  Jourdan Brooks doesn't play.

Rutgers 45 Howard 7:  Jourdan Brooks gets 17 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns, for an average of 7.3 yards per carry.

Rutgers 24 Florida International 15: Jourdan Brooks gets five carries.

Rutgers 34 Maryland 13: Jourdan Brooks gets 17 carries this time running solely up the middle and runs for 57 yards.

Rutgers 42 Texas Southern 0: Jourdan Brooks gets nine carries and runs for 39 yards and a touchdown.

Pittsburgh 24 Rutgers 17:  Jourdan Brooks doesn't play and Martinek gets 10 carries.  He runs for 23 yards and no touchdowns.

Rutgers 27 Army 10: Brooks gets four carries and runs for 30 yards averaging 7.5 yards per carry.

Rutgers 28 Uconn 24: Jourdan Brooks gets three carries, all three up the middle and averages 3.7 yards per carry.  Joe Martinek runs 12 times and gains 32 yards.  He averages 2.3 yards per carry.

According to Coach Schiano Jourdan Brooks was supposed to be splitting carries with Joe Martinek. Schiano however neglects to play him more than a few carries a game.

Brooks is a power back with surprising speed; much like Ray Rice was only more powerful and faster.  He's proven himself over and over again this season and last season but to no avail.

He averages 4.9 yards a carry.  That's 0.1 yards less than Joe Martinek.  In the second game of the season he ran for 124 yards on only 17 carries while Joe Martinek ran for fewer yards the next game on 24 carries.

Let's also remember that it's been statistically proven that Rutgers offense is at its best when Brooks gets the bulk of the carries.

Don't forget that Brooks is the reason why Joe Martinek was able to run for 90 of 147 yards in the last few minutes against Maryland.

If you look Martinek's carries they were mostly in the second half while Brooks' were in the first half.  Brooks was used in the first half to wear out the Maryland defense. Schiano likes to use him this way because then Martinek can use his speed to run away from the defenses late in games when the opposing defense is tired.

Brooks is basically a guaranteed first down in short yardage situations.  I'm not sure what Schiano has against him that he never plays.  Especially since recently Martinek hasn't been doing so well.

Want to know why the Rutgers offense was non-existent for almost the entire second half against UConn?? Look no further than the play calling of coach Schiano who ran Martinek up the middle on every run play that half.

Martinek finished with a whopping total of 32 yards that game and no touchdowns.  He averaged 2.3 yards per carry.  That game Jourdan Brooks ran for 11 yards on three carries. He produced more than a third of the amount of Martinek's rushing yards in a fourth of the number of carries that Martinek had. 

Martinek is fast and very athletic but he isn't a power runner.  If Rutgers wanted to be successful running up the middle Schiano should've put in Brooks whose specialty is running up the middle.

I understand Martinek has done very well and run for hundreds of yards against teams like Army, Maryland, and Florida International but those teams are ARMY, MARYLAND, and FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL.

Jourdan Brooks can do that too.  He ran for 124 yards and three touchdowns against Howard, an FCS team and then hardly played in games except for Maryland where he was primarily the 1st half run-up-the-middle back.

Martinek has proven that he is great at running over mediocre defenses and infective against Big East teams with real defenses.  In the Knights' three Big East games Martinek ran for 109 yards and one touchdown.  That's an average of 36 yards per game.  I'm sure how this is acceptable production for a starting running back.

In these three games Jourdan Brooks has played in one of them, where he had three carries.  Brooks deserves his chance to be successful since Martinek has had three opportunities to and hasn't taken advantage any of the times.

It also makes sense to give Brooks the bulk of the carries because Rutgers offensive schemes need a running back with power.  Brooks is that and more.

If he was used to run up the middle all those times against UConn, you can bet that Rutgers wouldn't have been down by four with thirty seconds left in the game and needed Tom Savage and Tim Brown to make an outstanding play and win.

Remember in 2007 when Rutgers upset then No. 2 South Florida? It was Ray Rice who ran to the left two yards, stiff-armed star defensive end and projected first round pick George Selvie, and scampered another ten yards for a key first down.  If you want to watch it it's on Youtube.

Rutgers is playing South Florida this week and once again will be going against a George Selvie led defense.  When it comes time to take on Selvie I doubt that Joe Martinek will be able to knock him to the ground like Rice did.

But I know a running back that can and his name is Jourdan Brooks.

He's the key to success with their running game and it would be great if Rutgers uses him and Joe Martinek and both do well.  Maybe Schiano can even give some carries to DeAntwan "The Rocket" Williams, a highly recruited running back who has shown flashes of brilliance.

Whichever running back does play I'm looking forward to a great game this Thursday night against South Florida and hopefully all us Scarlet Knights fans will be watching Jourdan Brooks stiff-arm George Selvie and run all over the Bulls defense.

Go RU!




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