KU football MVP Countdown: No. 4, Khalil Herbert
Kansas football’s offensive coaches think they have three perfectly capable running backs , all effective in their own way and all viable threats to break open a drive with a big play.
But junior Khalil Herbert just might prove to be the strongest and most complete back in the bunch.
With 19 games of experience behind him, including two monster outings as a sophomore, when he combined for 428 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns in a two-week span, the 5-foot-9, 210-pound upperclassman possesses the potential to be the most explosive player on the offense.
An injury during the fifth game of his second college season mostly derailed Herbert the remainder of 2017, and he finished the year with 663 rushing yards and the 4 aforementioned TDs.
A healthy Herbert, though, could easily surpass all of those totals this fall, even while splitting reps and touches with Dom Williams and Pooka Williams.
Herbert figures to be KU’s true do-it-all running back. His powerful legs have shown burst before, so you know he can run off tackle, turn a corner and bust a long rush. But coaches also think he can catch the ball. And in short-yardage situations, he’ll be the one trusted to lower his shoulder and deliver on an old fashioned carry up the middle.
He can slash when he needs to and has the mass to make him tough to tackle.
If KU is ready to embrace its running game behind a revamped offensive line, Herbert could be on the verge of a breakout year.
KU hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since James Sims, in 2013. After averaging 5.5 yards per carry as a sophomore on 120 attempts, maybe a healthy Herbert is the one to break that streak.
— Check out the rest of the MVP countdown at Tom Keegan’s Lunch Break blog: Nos. 6-25