J.K. Dobbins is ready to become Ohio State's next superstar.
A true freshman running back, Dobbins totaled 181 rushing yards during the Buckeyes' season-opening victory over Indiana. The explosive athleticism Dobbins' displayed during his debut was reminiscent of Barry Sanders:
Expect the Sanders comparisons to continue should Dobbins keep running like this. Like Sanders, Dobbins is on the shorter side—Sanders was listed at 5-foot-8, and Dobbins is listed at 5-foot-10. Sanders consistently played around 200 pounds, and Dobbins is listed at 208. And like Sanders, Dobbins is a freak athlete capable of running circles around a defense.
In fact, Dobbins had the highest SPARQ score of any recruit in the class of 2017:
Dobbins earned that honor thanks to a 4.44 40-Yard Dash, a 4.09 20-Yard Shuttle and a ridiculous 43.1-inch Vertical Jump. Do you know how insane it is for a high school player to jump 43 inches in the Vertical? Dating back to 2006, there's been just one running back at the NFL Combine who hit the 43-inch mark (Christine Michael in 2013).
It also looks like the man knows his way around the weight room:
Dobbins' high school coach, Matt Kates, recently told Cleveland.com he believes the running back could've played D1 football as a 15-year-old. "The truth is, as a sophomore at 15 years old, he could have played for 80 percent of Division I programs. At 15 years old. There's no doubt. That's what's crazy. No doubt," Kates said.
In early August, Dobbins became the first member of Ohio State's freshmen class to lose his black stripe. It's a tradition that signifies a player has embraced the program's most important values and deserves the right to become a full-fledged Buckeye.
We'll be sure to keep an eye on this athletic wonder as the 2017 college football season marches on.