You know what's fun? Watching football highlights. You what's really fun? Watching Akrum Wadley football highlights. But for a change of pace, let's watch some highlights of young Ak in high school. SPOILER ALERT: his moves were just as filthy back then and he was making dudes look ridiculous with ease. I mean, in the first minute alone he a) hurdles a guy, b) breaks several ankles on punt returns, and c) takes a toss sweep 80 yards for a touchdown. And then that kick return around the 3:00 mark... lordy. (And he does it all while wearing Cleveland Brown knock-off uniforms, too, making these the best highlights featuring a player in that gear since Earnest Byner was toting the rock in orange and brown.)
As a recruit, Wadley was unheralded due to his size and the fact that he played for a school with little football history. There were definite question marks about his ability to produce at the Big Ten level. Let's ask Jabrill Peppers to answer those questions. Wadley's performances over the last two years have definitely silenced the doubters and detractors.
It's fun to see just how much of current-day Wadley is visible in these highlights, too. The vicious jump cuts, the tackle-shucking spin moves -- we've seen those moves in black and gold over the last few years and they are just as wonderful. These highlights also reinforce one of the fundamental strengths about Wadley's game: get him the ball in space and let him cook. The end result is very likely to be plenty of defenders reduced to ashes.
It's also interesting to see Wadley as a return man in these clips, particularly with the news coming out of Kids Day that he's being looked at as the main option at kickoff returner right now. Most of his returns here were of the punt return variety, rather than kickoff returns, but his skill set certainly seems to lend itself to all aspects of the return game and it's a very exciting possibility. Desmond King was unfortunately never able to break a kick or punt return for a touchdown, but he provided consistently strong returns that gave Iowa's offense improved field position and helped them score. (His punt return at the end of the Michigan game last year was a small, but vitally important part of Iowa's comeback win.) If Wadley can do the same this year, that would certainly be a welcome boost.
In any event, just sit back and watch 10 minutes of Akrum Wadley spinning, juking, and burning past hapless defenders -- it's delightful.