Remember when I would only post once a month? Yeah, me neither. According to Greg Biggins of Scout.com and not Rivals like I said previously, Long Beach Poly RB Gerard Wicks is now a Cougar.
#WashingtonState continues to roll, just landed a commitment from LB Poly (Calif.) RB Gerard Wicks— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) June 20, 2012
Wicks is listed at 5'10 and 195 lbs, but has a frame that suggests more weight could be added. I don't think we're talking about anything more than 10 or 15 pounds, but it's still something. He has a little Maurice Jones-Drew in him in that he likes to both bounce it out to the outside as well as lower his shoulder and gain that extra yard or two. He's not quite the bowling ball Jones-Drew is, though. I'm also not saying we have a player that caliber on our hands. So breathe. He won't be MJD, because obviously, he's the next Barry Sanders.
Wicks does remind me of MJD, though. I like how he's being chased down and instead of just running out of bounds, he lowers his pads, initiates contact, and tries to get an extra yard or two. I love seeing that out of my running back.
Obviously Leach doesn't run the ball as much as normal coaches like to do, but he still uses RBs a lot. Whether it be in pass protection or as an H-Back type catching passes in the flat, it's not like we'll just stop recruiting ball carriers.
Wicks is really hard to bring down, and almost never goes down on first contact. I certainly enjoy jitterbug types who can make everyone miss, but I guess I'm old school and my preference is to have a bigger 'back who is extremely physical. In an era of Reggie Bush type RBs, Wicks is a bit of a throwback. He still catches the ball out of the backfield and makes people miss, but he seems to enjoy contact. I dig that about him.
Leach's RBs need to do two things well: block, and catch the ball out of the backfield. Wicks excels in blocking, but he didn't catch enough balls in his video for me to make an honest evaluation. He looked fine, but he only caught a few passes, so it's tough to tell. He is a willing blocker, though, and I really liked that.
Wicks is currently rated by Scout as a 2 star and the #127 RB in the nation (Rivals has him at 3 stars, ESPN has him as NR). I think that's a little low, but not super far off. I like the kid as a solid contributor going forward, but I don't see anything higher than 3 stars being assigned to him. Overall, nice solid addition to the Class of 2013.
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