Another year, another great group of RBs coming to Tech. While there will no longer be the divide between AB and BB, different backs will still have different roles within the new offense. Some will be power backs, some will be 3rd down specialists, and some special talents will be feature backs.
Devin Ellison(5-9 195 lbs)
Devin Ellison may be the most underrated player Tech signed this year. With the subsequent commitments of Amerson and Griffin, Ellison became somewhat of a forgotten man. When diving into the film, however, it’s apparent that Ellison has a great skill set in his own right.
Ellison may be smaller in stature, but he has a low center of gravity that helps him maintain balance along with powerful legs that allow him to carry would-be tacklers. He has good burst, speed, and foot quickness. These, along with his powerful legs, allow him to pull off some devastating spin moves in the open field.
There has been speculation about Ellison moving to slot receiver due to the crowd in the RB room. This may happen, but his best spot is RB. Even if he only really sees time as a third down back, it may be a great role for him. He should pick up blitzers well, and has the quickness to be explosive. He has good hands, but there isn’t much route-running in his film outside of the basic RB routes. I would need to see more to say that his best fit is in the slot.
Tony Amerson (5-11 220 lbs)
Amerson was a top B-Back target for Paul Johnson’s staff, and for good reason. He has all the make-up of an excellent power back, with a thick frame and powerful legs. Despite his power potential, his running style in high school was primarily centered on avoiding tacklers. Amerson has good vision and shifts his hips into his cuts. He uses his bend to shrug off indirect hits. He never really squared up the defender to drive him back, however, which is necessary in short yardage situations and would be a good use of his athletic profile. This is a technique issue he can easily fix, however. Amerson has decent deep speed for his size, but will get run down by faster defenders at the college level.
Amerson has the potential to be a great, well-rounded power back. He won’t be “3 yards a cloud of dust.” He can easily make the first man miss and power for more yardage after contact. He’ll be an incredibly efficient runner, which is much of the reason the previous staff had so much interest in signing him.
Jamious Griffin (5-10 210 lbs)
The exclamation point at the end of a successful first recruiting class for Geoff Collins, Jamious Griffin is a stud. I previously mentioned feature backs, and Griffin fits the bill.
Griffin has absolutely elite foot quickness(It cannot be overstated how quick his feet are), combined with loose hips that he can quickly shift when making cuts. At 11:08 in the above video, he makes 2 quick successive shifts in the hole before exploding for a big gain.
Griffin isn’t the biggest RB prospect, but he has great power due to his technique, bend and foot quickness. He can drive the pile, but he really shines in 1-on-1 power situations. Griffin will drop his pad level to meet contact, then does a good job of shifting his hips to reset his balance while delivering an effective stiff arm. This allows him to absorb the contact and cause the defender to slide off. He then easily clears his feet from the defender. With his quick hips and feet, Griffin can easily recover and get back up to speed.
Griffin has great burst, which helps him be patient with how his blocks develop. This will help him tremendously in Patenaude’s offense, which is largely based on zone runs out of the gun.
Griffin’s deep speed is just decent, but there is a lot to like with his game. He’ll push for playing time early, and will likely be the feature back by the end of his time at Tech.
Nishant will have the WRs tomorrow!