Film Study: B.J. Emmons

Matt DeBary takes a look at Freedom (NC) RB B.J. Emmons on film.

B.J. Emmons is a big 2016 RB that plays for Freedom High School in Morganton, North Carolina. At 5’11, 224 lbs., Emmons is a bigger back that has great speed for a guy his size. The trait that I like most about him is his ability to break tackles. He has great balance, and does a great job of using his strength to earn yards after contact.

I looked up Emmons’s size before watching his tape, and I assumed that he would just be this big bruising back that can only run between the tackles. I was wrong. Emmons showed he has deceptive speed, and made a ton of plays on sweep tosses on the perimeter. Although Emmons enjoys bowling over defenders, there were many times where he made a defender miss in open space, and used his speed to get big yards downfield. He runs behind his pads well, and seems to always drag a defender a few extra yards before finally being brought down. That is, if a defender actually catches him.

There was one play in particular that really stood out to me that showed all the qualities that Emmons has, all in one run. The play was a option to the near side of the field, and when Emmons got the ball, he made two guys miss in the back field, trucked another defender about 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and then took off 5 yards down the sideline. Most backs would have run out of bounds, but not Emmons. He then puts another shoulder into a defender who was forcing him out of bounds, side stepped another while tip toing the sideline, and then cut back to the middle of the field. At that point he decided to turn on the jets, and used his speed to run another 50 yards into the end zone. I went back and watched the play about 5 times to make sure it was B.J Emmons running the ball instead of Marshawn Lynch.

About halfway through the film, I really noticed that he was not playing against the best competition. Emmons is a good player and has the qualities needed to be a productive SEC back, but I think much of his success had to with who he is playing against. He is just plain faster and stronger than everyone else on the field. It will be interesting to see how his play develops at the SEC level. He has a ton of potential, but at this point it’s all up to him. If he can dedicate himself to working hard and staying out of trouble off the field, Emmons is a guy who has the potential to play on Sundays.

Ability to break tackles

Weaknesses (Room for Improvement)
Level of competition in H.S

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