Don't start to read this article until you watch that video. It's only a little over two minutes and please take the time to see what I'm about to be talking about. Ok are you ready? Let's get into this discussion of Shady *wait* I mean our running backs.
LeSean "Shady" McCoy is the best thing to happen to this school since Larry Fitzgerald fell into WaHa's arms. Shady blows away every recruit in terms of their projected level of talent. We have never had a five-star recruit since the proliferation of the in-depth scouting of high school recruits. If he wouldn't have blown out his knee his senior year of high school Shady would have been the top recruit in the entire nation a year ago. He decided to go to prep school after the injury and picked up where he left off, basically being an unstoppable running back.
What does this mean for the Panthers this season? Well, it means that we have a legitimate game changer on offense. Shady has the level of talent of all the top backs in the nation. He has blistering speed, some coaches have said he is the fastest guy on the team, great field vison and moves on top of moves. I know what your thinking Shady is a speed back, not quite, he weighs 210 pounds and runs with power. The guy is a complete package who has confidence to burn. Get ready to be amazed the first time he touches the ball at Heinz Field. If Shady gets over 15 carries a game thats a guarenteed 100 yard game with at least one touchdown. He is currently listed as the back up of Larod Stephens-Howling but don't let that fool you. Our running game and our season hinges on how Wannstedt uses Shady.
So the plan as of now is for Hot Rod and Shady to share the load at running back, which is fine by me. Stephens-Howling is not a bad back and has been our leading rusher for two years. Hopefully, he takes the slight demotion in terms of carries well. Shady can't run the ball every single down so Hot Rod will be able to get his carries in spots.
The problem in camp at the running back position has been injuries. Promising sophomore Kevin Collier breaks his hand, so we lose one running back. That then causes a chain of events where great Freshman recruit full back Henry Hynoski loses the chance to redshirt due to a lack of depth. Hopefully the backfield can stay injury free because this unit doesn't have a whole lot of depth.
I want to put into context what Shady means to use here at The Cat Basket, and to the Pitt football community as a whole. DPJ has been here for 7 years (or 15 I have no idea) and I've been here for 5. Pitt football has taken up a huge part fall Saturdays here at school. From my perspective I'll never forget the first game I saw at Heinz Field ,Larry Fitzgerald as a sophmore put up 3 TD's and 210 yards off of 7 catches. He was the most amazing receiever I've ever seen play live, he was untouchable. Now this is my last semester of going to games at Heinz Field as an undergrad and Pitt hasn't been to a bowl since we got destroyed by Utah 3 years ago. I've sat through games where it was raining so hard I was standing in shin deep water to watch us play a horrible teams like Syracuse. I see the promise of Shady as the light at the end of the tunnel for all of us diehard Pitt fans. He is a level of running back we haven't had in 30 years. Last time we had a running back with this much talent he won the Heisman and we won the National Title. I'm not saying we will win the National Title or that Shady will win the Heisman here but at least it seems like a possibility now.