San Diego State’s Senior running back, Rashaad Penny, may not be a household name just yet, but he soon will be.
The 5’11’ 220 lb back has played a supporting roll behind the NCAA all-time leading rusher, Donnel Pumphrey, for three years, but is poised be the star in 2017.
After a 1,000 yard campaign in 2016, in which he averaged 7.5 yards per carry and scored 14 touchdowns from scrimmage, Penny is ready to carry the load as the Aztecs’ premier back.
In this day in age, when finesse outshines physicality, and the college football landscape has evolved to something similar to basketball on grass, 1,000 yard rushers are a commodity. At San Diego State, it has become the expectation.
The Aztecs made NCAA history last season, being the first team to ever have a 2,000 and a 1,000 yard rusher in the same season. With all eyes on Penny in 2017, offensive coordinator Jeff Horton will look to their corps of experienced tight ends and receivers, as well as speedy running back Juwan Washington, to open up the field for their star back.
What makes Rashaad Penny a must-watch player is not just what he does out of the backfield, but what he does on special teams as well.
The pre-season 3rd team All-American (Athlon Sports) leads all of college football with five kickoff returns for touchdowns, taking three of them over 100 yards for scores.
Take a look for your self. In this kick return vs USD.
Unafraid to make a play at a pivotal point in the game, Penny’s thrilling kick return TD vs CAL last season sparked the Aztecs’ 45-40 upset over the Golden Bears.
Special teams coordinator, Bobby Hauck, has been vague as to if the back-to-back Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year will continue to return kicks as the Aztecs’ primary RB in 2017. However, what we do know is that, in a pinch, there are few players in all of college football that can provide the spark that Rashaad Penny can.
Don’t leave your seat when #20 is on the field, because this fall’s Saturday night showings of Aztec football will feature a must-see headliner.
The Aztecs launch their 2017 campaign with the 42nd annual Sky Show game vs UC Davis on Sept. 2 at Qualcomm Stadium.
Kickoff for the back-to-back Mountain West champion Aztecs and Aggies is set for 5:30 P.M. PST
SDSU Alumnus, passionate about Aztec football, surfing, craft beer, and serving my country. Follow me on Twitter for all things SDSU football, and the occasional nonsense: @lawstbrewer