Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
With a wide open battle for backing up John Hubert, Jarvis Leverett will look to work his way onto the field despite being only a freshman.
We are now just 28 days from kick-off against North Dakota State, #28 Jarvis Leverett is our featured player of the day, I don’t have to go into work this morning, and the day honestly couldn’t be brighter for me. LET’S DO THIS!
Leverett is a running back from Katy, TX and came to Manhattan after showing interest in Colorado, Purdue, and Texas Tech. A three-star athlete at Cypress Lakes High School, the redshirt freshman was awarded the Red Raider Award as the top contributor on the scout team last season. The Houston Chronicle rated him Texas’s eighth best running back and he was considered among the State’s top 100 players. He didn’t get a lot of experience under his legs in high school, but made the most of his opportunities. His junior year he had 349 yards on 56 carries (6.2 ypc) and five touchdowns. As a senior he rushed for 411 yards on 75 carries (5.5 ypc) for four touchdowns.
The important thing is to not judge the lack of playing time on its face – Leverett tore his ACL after just three games his junior year. So go back and look at those stats – he had 349 yards over his first three games. His senior year numbers were put up over the course of seven games – he missed a couple games in October that season as well (it’s unclear as to whether this was due to injury or other reason). However, he put these numbers up on a team that went 1-9, implying there wasn’t a lot of talent surrounding him to make him look better.
Leverett has power, and his speed intrigues me. He was named MVP of the school’s track team as a sophomore, and undoubtedly would have found more success but for the injury holding him out of track as an upperclassman. Yet the most value my lie in his ability to play Angelo Pease. While Hubert was the star of the running backs last year, Pease was the player able to provide crucial pass protection for Collin Klein last year. From Robert Rose to Hubert, K-State’s roster is loaded with small, quick running back that could be a vulnerability in the passing game. However, Leverett is 5’11” and 200 pounds. While not exactly a power back, he could be the player able to step up and block in the backfield.
Leverett’s misfortune is largely K-State’s gain, as the ACL tear his junior year caused interest to largely dry up from other schools. Despite being among the best backs in the state of Texas, K-State was the only school that offered him a scholarship at any level from what I can tell. He reciprocated by showing strong early interest in the Wildcats and committed in September 2011 before signing in 2012. Yet he seems fully healed now and was tremendous on scout team last year. It looks like Bill Snyder’s gamble paid off, as the school got a great running back who’s come back from injury (too) early in his career and is now ready to make a name for himself.