With depth at running back being one of our bigger issues this upcoming season, our featured player today could definitely have a chance to step up into some playing time...that is, if he is eligible to play. Cottom sadly suffered an ACL tear mid last season.
You know, that thing in the knee that seems to happen TO ALMOST EVERY SINGLE PURDUE ATHLETE!!. Seriously though, what is wrong with us? You know what, screw ACLs. DeJuan Blair is doing just fine without his, why do we even need these things? They don't work even seem to work!
Anyways, hopefully he will be able to come back and give us some depth, because this kid is a monster.
Brandon Cottom - So.
Hometown: Newton, PA (Council Rock HS)
6'4", 258 pounds
2012 Projection: Reserve at running back, special teams contributor.
It's a real bummer that Cottom tore his ACL, because this guy is a true bruiser that can just blast through defenders, like Toby Gerhart did at Stanford a few years ago with his downhill running style. And there is definitely some playing time up for grabs with the ACL injury to Ralph Bolden. (Please refer to the statement regarding Purdue and ACLs at the beginning of this column if you decided to skip down to this part. Thank you)
In his first season at Purdue Cottom showed that he is a capable running back threat when given the chance. He appeared in 11 games as a contributor on special teams and two as a running back. He had 8 carries for 70 yards last season. The 70 yards came against Southern Missouri on September 7th, and he also got a meaningless carry against Minnesota where he managed to get it back to the line for no gain.
Cottom has a terrific runner in high school. Being hampered with an ankle injury for most of his senior year, he was still able to rush for an average of 5.9 yards per carry and scored 6 touchdowns. His best game was against Bensalem high school, where he went balls to the walls and rushed for 139 yards, long of 55, 3 touchdowns on the ground, and caught a touchdown pass.
If Cottom can come back this season, and fingers crossed that he does because I honestly think that this kid could be something awesome, look for him to take a larger role; mostly in the full back position and special teams. Looking to the future and depending on what route Hope will take us offensively, success of recruits, and things of that nature, I think Cottom could have an enormous role in our offense.
I'd love to run an option with Rob Henry and Brandon Cottom; the perfect combo of speed and power and you could do a lot with those two working together in the backfield, whether Henry is playing QB or not. But hey, it's Danny Hope so who knows what he is thinking.