There's a lot of uncertainty about Iowa football in 2017, particularly on offense. What schemes and tendencies will Brian Ferentz rely on as the new offensive coordinator? Who will be the new quarterback? Who will that guy throw the ball to? But there is one thing we can take comfort in: Akrum Wadley will be back in the Iowa backfield and if last year is any indication, he's going to be turning defenders inside out and giving us lots of things to cheer about, which is very good news.
Those highlights are primarily from Iowa's thrilling win over Michigan last year, which makes sense -- that was probably Wadley's finest game of the season. He had more rushing yards against Miami (OH) and Purdue, but given the overall quality of his performance in all facets and the caliber of defense he was facing (the Wolverines were juuuust a bit better on that side of the ball than, say, the Boilermakers), his 23-carry, 115 yard performance (to go with five receptions for 52 yards and Iowa's only touchdown of the game) was absolutely sensational. It didn't hurt that it was chock full of stellar highlights as well, with him displaying his full arsenal of jump cuts, spin moves, and rapid-fire acceleration to leave a host of future NFL draft picks grabbing at air.
The tweet that clip is from compares Wadley to LeSean McCoy, the former Pitt running back who's had a very good NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. Physically they're both about the same size (both are listed at 5'11"), although McCoy is a bit heavier than Wadley (he's listed at 208 versus Wadley's current listed weight of 195). That extra weight probably helped McCoy be a bit more of a workhorse back than Wadley is capable of being -- McCoy ran the ball 276 times for Pitt in 2007 and 308 times in 2008. He's also averaged 268 carries per season in the NFL in the five years in which he's played at least 15 games. Wadley had 168 carries for Iowa last year and while that's sure to increase this fall, it's hard to imagine him having another 100-125 carries. But weight aside, the McCoy comparison is an interesting one. Both backs are adept at catching the ball and making plays in addition to being highly effective running the ball out of the backfield. And there are some real similarities in their running styles in terms of jump cuts, the ability to change quickly change directions and make defenders miss, and acceleration in the open field. Check out these Shady highlights and see if you don't see a fair bit of Wadley in there:
The clip up top is also drawn from a longer video, which you can check out here, if you want to see more footage of Wadley breaking defenders' ankles and making them look absolutely silly (and of course you do):
(NOTE: You may want to turn the volume down or be sure you have headphones plugged in before watching these videos -- there's some NSFW language in the song choices.)
And if you still need more footage of Wadley (although much of it obviously overlaps with the highlights in the other video), well give this one a look too:
Go Akrum Awesome.