Through Colorado State’s first two games of the 2017 season, running back Rashaad Boddie has been one of the most effective rushers on the team.
His 6.9 yards per carry are far and away the most among any running back on the team. Starters Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews are averaging an underwhelming 3.8 and 3.1 YPC, respectively. Boddie’s longest rush on the year of 24 yards doubles that of both starters, showing his ability for big-play potential.
But from a usage standpoint, Boddie continues to play second fiddle to the more experienced options in the backfield. His 12 total touches on offense rank third among running backs behind Matthews (20) and Dawkins (33). During his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon, head coach Mike Bobo recognized that he needs to find a way to get Boddie more involved.
“To be honest and to be critical of myself, I’ve gotta’ do a better job of doing things that he can do to get him a chance to touch the ball more,” Bobo said. “Sometimes you’re scared to have a young back in there because of protection issues or he might not understand everything that you’re doing offensively. But he understands how to run the ball.”
Boddie has demonstrated that ability to run the ball through two games. In the Rams’ first game against Oregon State, Boddie saw his first collegiate action at the beginning of the second quarter. In a span of five plays, Boddie carried the ball four times for 19 yards.
Boddie was then absent until the middle of the fourth quarter when he rushed the ball four consecutive plays for 37 yards. Bobo demonstrated his willingness to use the freshman back during limited chunks of action.
During last Friday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown, Boddie was again used in a limited capacity. On the team’s first possession of the second quarter, Boddie recorded four rushes for 33 yards including a 24-yard dash that put the Rams in position to score their only points of the evening.
After the strong series, Boddie did not record a touch for the remainder of the game. Bobo mentioned that Boddie must continue developing into a complete running back who can help in every facet of the game, not just running the football. Among other things, that can include pass-blocking, receiving and understanding the intricacies of an offense.
That said, Bobo also noted that playing into Boddie’s strengths as a runner can make calling plays for him easier.
“We’ve got to make sure that he’s out there,” Bobo said. “And when he’s out there, I know he’s there. We don’t have to have the whole playbook at my disposal; I can do some things that Rashaad and (running backs) coach (Bryan) Applewhite feel comfortable that he can handle assignment wise.”
Collegian sports editor Colin Barnard can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_.