IN FOCUS: Hykeem Brodie

See how the Penn State running back is progressing during spring practice drills in our exclusive In Focus series.

With a stable of veteran backs including Evan Royster, Stephfon Green and Shaine Thompson and fresh faces in the backfield mix like Curtis Dukes and Silas Redd, Hykeem Brodie has taken a gamble transferring to Penn State. Brodie played four years of varsity high school football; two years with Churchland and two with Western Branch and earned first-team All-District and All-Tidewater honors as a senior.

That season he rushed for 1,459 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Brodie initially opted for Old Dominion University, but soon looked elsewhere.

Brodie considered walking-on at schools in the region like Maryland and Virginia Tech, but ultimately liked what PSU had to offer.


Hykeem Brodie, RB (5-foot-11, 225 pounds)

Brodie "looks like a football player," according to one observer. "He's got the build and doesn't look like a typical walk-on," although some observers feel his 5-foot-11 listing is a "stretch."

"The biggest issue he has to overcome is his speed," and with the backlog of talent "progressing quickly," Brodie is pushing to make an impression. This spring he's been seeing a lot Scout Team reps and "has to nail things down in order to make a move this preseason, but he's facing some all-world guys." Many observers feel true freshman Silas Redd is already ahead of Brodie thanks to his speed and vision in the backfield.


Build: Brodie has good strength and a "solid physique" and "is all business in the weight room." As one observer explained, "Some guys dread working out, but Brodie seems to love it. He's always pushing on extra reps and there early and late." Although he's shorter that some backs, most observers are seemingly not too concerned with this aspect of his build.

Speed: The biggest concern is with his speed; he's run a high 4.8-range 40-yard dash time. "He's not flat out fast, but he can change direction quickly. A lot of times though he'll rely on his power to make up for his speed, trying to run over guys in traffic."

Approach: Brodie is said to be a "heads down player" who is not only "coachable," but also "always looking how to improve his play to get a leg up." As one observer said, "He knows he has to work twice as hard as some of these other guys out here. He doesn't have the luxury to take it easy if he's sore or tired. He's out pushing and trying to catch the coaches' eyes on every carry."

Footwork: This has been an area of focus for Brodie this spring and off-season. "He's got the ability to keep up as the lanes move, but he's going to have learn to use his lateral movement and directional shifts to get extra yardage. He's just not a guy who has a top gear that will leave everyone behind. He can't just run over guys."

Improvement: Aside from his speed, Brodie is working on picking up the playbook, which is "a lot different from [Old Dominion's]." He needs to better understand the zone blocking of the offensive line and improve "reading and hitting the holes." Brodie is working on his footwork and running technique in an attempt to get "as fast as possible."

Impact: Although he is focused on his footwork and speed, some observers feel Brodie has the ability to become "a short-yardage weapon." Although as one observer explained, "He could [emerge into that role], but Curtis Dukes is a guy who has people shaking their heads -- he's massive and quick and [Brandon] Beachum is expected to come back stronger. Toss in [Joe] Suhey and [Michael] Zordich when he gets back and there are a lot of guys the coaches can use for short-yardage situations." is the exclusive source for the BEST content and community covering Penn State football.


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