If you see Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers on the streets, take a picture. Chances are you won’t get the opportunity to see him stand still for very much longer.
He is shiftier than the eyes of a thief. He’s got faster moves than the guys at Delta Chi.
It’s the adage: “Catch me if you can.”
And no one can. Analysts talk about player having a second gear—that’s where ‘Quizz starts.
He gained 8,246 rushing yards in his high school career and scored 135 touchdowns in only three years as a varsity player—a Texas state record. In his senior season, he led his team to the state championship.
He was as good as a date with the Prom queen.
His transition to the college game was as easy as summer breeze. Three days into fall camp his play had done the talking—it was his job.
In his first game against Stanford, he ran for 54 yards on 14 carries. Since then, he has averaged 131 yards per game on about 27 carries.
Teams have been left cross-eyed and queasy, pondering the jingle to the Pepto Bismol commercial. Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, Jacquizz Rodgers! And defensive linemen were leading the entire defense in the goofy dance that accompanies it.
Linebackers all over the Pac-10 have spent the season yelling, trying to figure out if he had cut left or right. They look over both shoulders at once.
That’s when Rodgers piles right over the top of one of them and pushes to the end zone. He’s been there 11 times this season.
The kid has strength. He’s pushed piles four and five yards after two-stepping defenders for a 15-yard scamper.
The TV analysts show that ‘Quizz has grown two inches and gained 30 pounds since fall camp, but I’m not buying it.
He is still 5’6” and 170 pounds. His low center of gravity helps, but really, he is just that good. If he were in the XFL, his jersey would read, “Can’t Catch He.”
When defenses face Rodgers, they can’t do anything fast enough. Read the offensive line, gauge the pulling guard—they fail at both. The player's IQ drops at the snap of the ball. Ask them to read a limerick and they’d faint. Tell them to divide by one and they’d go comatose.
It would take them an hour to cook minute rice. Or two hours to watch "60 Minutes."
By the look of it, they call plays by use of Mad Libs. “Okay guys ‘2-deep, rover blitz, (Noun) under’”
The Beaver offensive linemen don’t mind. The strongest players on the team have spent all season knocking the opposition off its heels—and onto its back.
If offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh ever stopped working long enough to accept awards—he’d have them all.
The guys in the trenches have opened up holes wide enough to fit the entire Oregon State Band through. Let alone one guy about the same size as a trumpet player.
In other words, the linemen ate their “Wheaties” that morning. Or “Huskies” if you’re Lou Gerhig. Google that.
The offensive line has helped Rodgers to 1233 yards on 255 carries. That’s a balmy 4.8 yards per carry. He's projected to finish with 1480 yards—120 better than Yvenson Bernard's best season. About the same as Michigan's Mike Hart in his Freshman season.
When ‘Quizz runs for over 100 yards, the Beavers are 6-1. Maybe that's why the fans smell roses. The only loss was on a last second field goal to Utah.
There have been times this season when quarterbacks Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield have handed the ball off and turned around just to see how big the hole was opened. That and to watch how fast Rodgers would make it to the second and third level of the defense.
The third level—that’s where ‘Quizz belongs. He stands one step above the second tier, for sure. That is, if he ever still long enough to stay there.