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CFF Targets - Is this FCS transfer RB set to be a VOLUME PIG in 2023?
A RB not even listed on Fantrax yet? Talk about a sleeper...
There are worse things out tonight than [degenerate college football fans].
(Dr. Karen Johnson) Like what?
- Wesley Snipes, Blade (1998) / VP (2023)
CFF managers can be forgiven for not being aware of the existence of today’s player, as he is not even listed in Fantrax’ database yet (get on it you lazy ****s—wait, who said that?). Colorado State’s recent transfer RB—Kobe Johnson (North Dakota State) might be the starter for a program that’s lead RB last season — once taking over as the starter — received 20+ carries and rushed for 100+ yards in five out of eight games down the stretch.
That RB—Avery Morrow, has been suspended indefinitely, and may not return until 2024.
But VP! Coach Jay Norvell’s programs are always pass-heavy! There’s no value in the RBs!
Well, there may be some truth to that, but let’s take a closer look to be more precise.
Coaching & System
As it happens, I wrote about coach Jay Norvell not too long ago, highlighting CSU’s new TE—Dallin Holker. In it, I provided the readers with some insider information on the conversations between Norvell and Holker to induce him to transfer to Colorado State.
Again, don’t ask me how I know these things. My connections are vast and multiple.
Now, we know Norvell’s prowess with WRs for CFF is good. But how’s the historical usage at RB?
Well, when Avery Morrow took over last season, he averaged 20.75 touches (Oct. 7-Nov. 25), that stretch includes a game at Boise State where Morrow got injured and left the game with only six total touches. Excluding that game, he averaged 22.85 touches per game since becoming the starter (while somehow still retaining WR eligibility on Fantrax).
Prior to Colorado State, Norvell coached at another Mountain West Conference (MWC) program—Nevada (2017-2021). He failed to have a 1000-yard runner during this time, and the most a RB carried in a single season was 196 (Toa Taua in 2019). His lead runner did average a solid FPG in 2020, though. Taua accumulated a total of 889 yards and 5 TDs on 145 touches in 8 games (18.3 FPG).
The last time Norvell had a 1000-yard rusher was during his time as co-OC with Oklahoma State (2011-2014), which is a program with a rich history of RB production across different coaches. It was Joseph Randle, who carried the rock 274 and 208 times in 2012 and 2011, accumulating 1417 yards and 1216 yards, respectively.
So it’s a correct statement to say that Norvell’s RBs are not typically valuable commodities in CFF. However, seeing how they used Morrow just last season, I’m mildly intrigued by what they’ll do should Morrow be out for an extended period of time.
There is no OC listed on the program’s website (pretty sure Norvell fills this role). Looking at the RB coach—Jeremy Moses, he joined the program with Norvell back in 2022. His background is as a Texas high school football coach, and I’m not about to go looking for the usage patterns of high school programs.
So overall, the usage patterns are not great, but recently — well, last year — they were pretty off the hook.
RB Kobe Johnson — 5’9, 188
Johnson transferred to Colorado State in early May. The GA native comes to Fort Collins by way of North Dakota State, where he played from 2019 to 2022.
He never carried the ball more than 129 times with the Bison, but did come close to 1000 yards in 2022. Overall, from his four-year career, Johnson averaged 6.7 yards per carry, accumulating 2563 yards and 18 TDs.
Troublingly, his receiving usage was low, which might suggest that it is not a strength of his, and might cap his volume at Colorado State.
He has the advantage with being on campus slightly earlier than (who I believe) is his main competitor. I imagine Colorado State needed to increase it’s depth in light of Morrow’s possible absence, but the room was thin anyways. Johnson is who I would imagine gets first swing at RB1 in this offence as of now.
As with Holker, Norvell provided some words of wisdom to Johnson while pitching his program:
Okay, VolumePig anatomy 101. Committees and back-ups don’t do d**k, so forget what you’ve seen on twitter. You’re gonna catch passes, block, and run off-tackle.
You know how to use this?
*Norvell pulls up Fantrax app*
(Kobe Johnson) No, but I damn sure learn quick…
Auto-draft’s off, you’re already in my que—
Bestball, large leagues, target yourself in the late round range… anything else, is your ***
RB Damian Henderson — 6’1, 190
I like Johnson, but I really like Henderson.
The former four star RB Henderson is the second highest recruit to ever sign with the Rams. He averaged a monstrous 9.4 yards per carry while playing for SoCal powerhouse Los Alamitos (five stars Malachi Nelson, Makai Lemon also played here). He finished his senior year with 1729 yards and 23 TDs on 184 carries.
The California native was also a track star in high school—apparently completing the 100 meter dash in an 11-flat time. Not bad.
Upon his arrival on campus, the path to the field for Henderson immediately took shape, as last year’s RB1—Avery Morrow, was suspended indefinitely.
If it weren’t for Johnson’s transfer, this profile would have been fantastic. Unfortunately, due to seniority and Johnson arriving earlier, my inclination is that Johnson gets first dibs this season. Still, maybe he falters, giving way to the true freshman. After all, Morrow only took over halfway through the season last year.
At the very least, Henderson is an intriguing dynasty option, while Morrow deals with the legal system in 2023, and is already a fourth year senior. Who knows whether he’ll even be with the program come this time next year. Johnsons enters his fifth season, so he very well could be gone next year too.
Upon hearing the news of Morrow’s suspension, my interest elevated in Colorado State’s backfield. I like the freshman, and Johnson comes in with a nice pedigree. My thoughts are that due to the inexperience, they might hold Henderson back early on. Especially given that he’s not an early enrollee. But, I like Henderson’s profile for the long term, he might not be a CFF buy this year (actually, he most likely isn’t), but he is a cat that I’ll keep an eye on going forward.
Side note, how cool would a nickname like ‘Blade’ be for a RB in college football? I’m surprised no-one’s taken it before. If Henderson turns into a stud, I am going to will that name into existence for his own good—but he has to be a player known for making sharp cuts, get it? — *Audience rolls eyes* — Thank me later NIL sponsors (I say with a smug look on my face).
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