Running back Khalil Herbert standing out this spring
To a large extent, a running back is only as good as the blockers who create openings for him. If the blocks are there for him, Khalil Herbert will make it happen for Kansas this season, provided he stays healthy.
A toe injury cost Herbert a third of his freshman season, but he looked good when healthy. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry, second on the team to Ke’aun Kinner, and rushed for three touchdowns, tied for second with Kinner behind Taylor Martin (four TD rushes).
Third-year Kansas coach David Beaty singled out Herbert last week as one of the most impressive players of the spring.
“He’s a lot thicker,” Beaty said. “His body’s changed. He is quick. He’s quick. He’s smooth. Really, we need him to have a good year. I’m really pleased with him so far.”
A native of Coral Springs, Fla., Herbert played in high school for former NFL defensive back Mike Rumph, now an assistant coach at University of Miami. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, Herbert looks like a natural carrying the football.
“He’ll press that line of scrimmage really well, make you stick that helmet on one side and as soon as you do that, then he’ll cut right off the butt (of the blocker), exactly like you want him to,” Beaty said. “But he stood out today just because some of the cuts he made. He does a great job from a technique perspective of playing the position the way you’re supposed to play it.”
Beaty does a nice job of explaining football in specific and general terms.
“He’s got really good vision and he’s really smooth. He’s not hitting the hole at a speed that is counterproductive to him a lot of times. He’ll hit it fast enough, but he does it at a rate to where he can set a block up and still make the cut off it. He’s a pretty talented guy.”