The college football season is quickly approaching; We’re just 17 days away! We continue BTD’s countdown list with number 15.
#15 Artavis Pierce - Running Back
I have quite a bit to say about this player. There were times (specifically against Oregon in 2016 and Ohio State/Southern Utah last season) where Artavis Pierce has looked like he would add his name to the list of the great running backs that OSU has had this century. His size and speed are something that fans pick up on quickly after watching him run, but for me, his vision and jump cuts at the line of scrimmage (as seen below) are what made me feel Pierce would lead the Pac 12 in rushing last season.
Through one and a half games last season (Pierce was hurt right before halftime against Southern Utah) he carried the ball 22 times for 259 yards (11.7 yards per carry!) and 3 touchdowns. Those numbers are straight laughable. But sadly, an elbow injury hindered Pierce for a couple games and led to the emergence of Jermar Jefferson, a rising star. Pierce was never quite the same after that Southern Utah game and saw limited playing time behind Jefferson, finishing the year with 54 carries for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Having a 100% healthy Pierce behind Jefferson is only going to help the Beaver offense next season. Although he will be listed as the second string running back, look for Pierce to get plenty of carries and hopefully he can get back to producing some of those insane numbers from the beginning of last season. He is such a joy to watch run the ball, Beaver fans can only hope that he stays healthy enough to help be apart of one of the best running back duo’s in all of college football.
94 Carries, 612 Yards, 5 Touchdowns. 21 Receptions, 145 yards, 1 Touchdown