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The Cardinal Countdown: 23 Days Until Kickoff

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#23 Brandon Radcliff

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 5-9/214

Position: Running back

Hometown: Miami, FL

Twitter: @BrandonRadcliff

Thoughts: What can I say that hasn’t already been said 24 times over at this point? As we creep another day closer to kickoff I don’t think the importance of Radcliff to this team can be understated. Yes, we have depth at the position. Yes, we will have a solid passing option at QB. Yes, we have a good receiving core, but Brandon will set the tone for the entire offense. I touched on this last year heading into the season but I think one of the more overplayed summaries of the Petrino offense is that he sends out five wide and then just airs it out. It’s simply not true. As much as we groaned about Charlie and Watson running up the middle for 3 yards every other play Petrino uses the run quite a bit to establish the passing game. If you look at pure output the rushing attack only accounted for 36% of the offense last year, but the true comparison is “attempts”. In total we attempted 428 passes in 2014 compared to 511 rushing attempts. Sure, end game situations come into play where we burn clock, etc but it was a much more balanced attack than many would lead you to believe. Last year, when we began the season looking at Dominique Brown and Michael Dyer as the workhorses few were focusing on Radlciff to play a large role in the rushing attack. In fact, LJ Scott was getting much more attention than Brandon coming out of the fall. We’ll always be indebted to Brown for that Miami win as he ran all over them the whole game, but once Radlciff started splitting time with Dyer we all saw what he was cable of….straight pulling bodies.

Radcliff played in 13 games last season, he led the team in rushing yards (737), led the team in yds/carry (5.1), led the team in 100 yard rushing games (3), led the team in kick return average (21.8), led the running backs in yds/reception average (14.0), second on the team in scoring (behind John Wallace), and third on the team in total offense (behind the two QBs). One could say he was an important part of the offense. As we turn the page moving towards 2015 the expectations have been raised. Racliff will be option #1 in most scenarios as he has the combination of speed and strength to be an every down back. We know Smith, Scott, Jones, and others will aid the attack but Brandon is the one pulling the sled. I think this group of backs is special, and as I mentioned in a previous post, Kolby Smith agrees, saying they may be better than the 2006 group who produced multiple NFL backs.

I love LJ Scott, Jeremy Smith appears to be the real deal, we know Malin Jones can play, but just as he did on National Signing Day a few years ago, Radcliff has shown he is simply a cut above the rest… 

Sweet Tweet:

Reason #527 Brandon is cooler than me. No way I can pull off that shirt, not a chance I can pull off that shirt with a bowtie, and there is no way I don't get laughed out of the room with that shirt, a bowtie and a hat. Yet, BadRad seems to pull it off. Keep doing what you're doing man, I'll try and catch up.

Oh, and don't worry, I saw Coach Thomas over there as well, who looks like he's about to drop the most fire sermon you've every heard.  Preach to em Coach T.