With a high profile QB drawing all the attention for the Buckeyes, Dobbins could be the real offensive weapon in 2019. With Weber off the NFL, the sky is the limit and 2019 could be the year of J.K. Dobbins.
2018 was a productive campaign for J.K. Dobbins with over 1,000 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. Some will say it was a step back after he broke the Freshman rushing record with 1,403 yards in 2017. While 1,300 scrimmage yards is hardly a step back, the dip in production was noted.
Now with the arrival of Justin Fields and the departure of Mike Weber, things could get interesting in Columbus. Last season was spent sharing time and trying to run plenty of zone read concepts. As great as Haskins was, running the football wasn’t his best trait. Now with a likely full time role and a mobile QB, Dobbins numbers could explode.
The Year of J.K. Dobbins
The easiest comparison would be Notre Dame with Brandon Wimbush and Ian Book. Book was the better passer and could run but wasn’t necessarily an athlete. Wimbush was an insane athlete with spotty accuracy at best. With Wimbush, the running game exploded for the Fighting Irish because of his Wimbush’s athleticism. Defenses had to choose who to key on because both two talented runners and a strong offensive line will cause a heap of problems for ends and linebackers trying to make a read in a split second.
Now Justin Fields is an entirely different beast. He has the athleticism of Wimbush and the passing ability at or better than Ian Book. There is a reason he was the number one recruit and the highest rated since Vince Young. But the biggest reason for the improve in production will ultimately come down to two things, Ryan Day wants to increase his workload and Dobbins acknowledged his issue. If this happens, this could be the year of J.K. Dobbins
Fixing 2018’s Mistakes
“Last year I kind of got away from that,” he said of finishing his runs. “I’m not going to make any excuses. It was me. I regressed last year. I didn’t have the year that I needed to have. So I put that on myself and I’ll get to back that this upcoming year.” (Quote from 247 Sport)
That quote was from J.K. Dobbins and his attempt to hit a home run every carry. Dobbin said that his rotation with Weber affected his play and he wanted to make every carry make a difference. Dobbins recognizing this and Coach Day acknowledging it means it will be a big focus for 2019. When you take into consideration that Dobbins was sharing time and hurting his play by rushing everything and not being a patient, more intelligent runner, imagine what 2019 holds. He has a QB that has unlimited, untapped potential and another year to focus and fix his flaws. It is still too early to tell but 2019 could be a reemergence of J.K. Dobbins.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.