CFL Pass

'Best is yet to come' for Redblacks running back John Crockett

Ottawa Redblacks running back John Crockett grew up in Minneapolis — a Minnesota Vikings fan.

So it’s no surprise his favourite running back was Adrian Peterson, the “GOAT,” a player he tried to pattern his own running style after. (Matt Forte was another NFL player Crockett liked watching).

The 27-year-old Crockett, in his rookie CFL season, will start his fourth straight game for the Redblacks Friday night in Edmonton (he’s run for 88, 84 and 71 yards). A former Green Bay Packer — he made his NFL debut in Week 13 of the 2015 season, rushing for 22 yards on five carries and played in a wildcard playoff game —Crockett is learning on the fly with a wider and longer field and CFL rules to get accustomed to.

“I’m a guy that wants to make a play and put myself in position to make my team successful — I’ll do whatever I have to do, if I have to run somebody over, break a tackle, make somebody miss, I’ll do it,” said Crockett. “The best is yet to come, I’m still learning how to play this game out here.”

“He’s an all-around back, he’s physical, a downhill type of runner,” said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell. “He’s not unlike the backs we’ve had around here — Mossis (Madu) and William (Powell) — those kinds of guys. They’re not exactly the same kind of player, but they’re all-around backs, not just specialty guys.”

An injury during training camp in 2016 changed Crockett’s journey. After being released by Green Bay, he had trials in Oakland and Baltimore in 2017-18, then another injury shortened his time with the the Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots earlier this year.

At North Dakota State University, Crockett put up huge stats. Between 2012-14, he rushed for 4,309 yards and 41 touchdowns; 21 of those scores came in a monster 2014 season when he rushed for 1,994 yards and had another 397 in pass receptions. 

“He’s got his own distinctive style,” said Redblacks running back coach Joe Paopao. “You’ve got the different styles —some (running backs) can make guys miss in a phone booth. And you have guys like Mike Pringle who want to run into people. (Crockett is) kind of in that category. He’s not Mike Pringle, but he’s got that physicality to him. That’s his strength — the ability to run downhill and run between the tackles.”


ALSO IN SPORTS: 

Senators head coach D.J. Smith paid his dues on his road to the top

Redblacks DB Antoine Pruneau fights off injury, hopes to play vs. Eskimos

‘Pinball Clemons 2.0’ … Redblacks returner DeVonte Dedmon shows he’s special


Source: torontosun.com




More on this: 1 stories