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Evaluating the Mechanics of Big Ten Running Backs - Dan Herron

Dan "Boom" Herron (Ohio State)

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Anytime you lose a perennial 1,110 yards plus back, there's big shoes to fill.  Chalk on the responsibility of cementing a young, and hauntingly predictable offense, and elite expectations, and you've got a load to carry.  Has Ohio State's Daniel "Boom" Herron bitten off more than he can chew?  Let's take a trip into the film room.

The Pivot (A-):

  • Stance (A): Herron stays flexed in a nice, solid, high and even "ready" position stance. 
  • Consistency (A-): Herron consistently keeps his head up, and cocked slightly to the right in an unflinching resolve.  There's no keying on the hole here.
  • The Pivot (B): Instead of turning his head and shoulders, Dan glances sideways, circling his inside leg in a tango-like fashion.  The result is superfluous -- wasting valuable time on the blocks.
  • The Step (A-): Although a little short, Herron's initial step is powerful and direct, launching him into a chain-like rattle of motion.

The Carry (B+):

  • Handoff (B+): Herron's elbow is a little flat on carries to the middle, resulting in a "soft" delivery. 
  • Cover/Security (B): Dan flaps a bit with the ball, although he keeps it shored up tightly, with his forearm draped diagionally in front.  One thing he doesn't seem to do very much is transfer the ball from side-to-side.  This is important, especially on off-tackle runs with cutbacks.
  • Avoidance (B+)Skates effortlessly off-tackle and on sweeps.  Doesn't try to "shake and bake," relying instead on a lateral series of sidesteps to avoid closing linebackers.  Stays away from defender's shoulders, frequently glancing off outstretched arms.
  • Second-Effort (B+)It's touch to tell on this one, since Herron isn't used much as a dive back.  I'd be good to see a little more churning action on the legs after the initial contact.

Overall: A-

[Editors Note: I completed this evaluation using spring game and live game footage.]

Big Ten Report Card

  • Dan Herron (A-)