The Los Angeles Rams are experiencing deja vu when their present offensive scenario.
In the course of the 1980s, the crew rode the legs of Southern Methodist star Eric Dickerson. Then within the mid-1990s to the 2000s, a former Memphis Tiger standout named Isaac Bruce helped ignite the Rams.
Now, Cam Akers is out for the yr and the Rams are in a scenario the place they’ll doubtless flip to an SMU and Memphis man to spark the offense. Sound acquainted?
Sean McVay already has the vote of confidence within the present backfield. And once more, the Rams have an opportunity to depend on rekindling the previous magic SMU and Memphis has given the “Rams Home” prior to now.
Two males who lined Darrell Henderson and Xavier Jones throughout their breakout season in school spoke to Heavy about this surreal second, and share why Jones and Henderson are each constructed to be the following Ram up.
Jones the Subsequent SMU Star on the Rams?
The Athletic’s Damon Sayles, who lined Jones in 2019 for The HillTopics, SMU’s affiliate via Rivals.com, obtained the possibility to observe Jones break operating again data on the Dallas college. Sayles himself notices the scenario for Jones given his Hilltop previous.
“Typically the celebrities align for you, and I feel that’s excellent for Xavier,” Sayles instructed Heavy by telephone.
Sayles described Jones as a 5-foot-11, 208-pounder who had “slightly little bit of the whole lot” in a operating again: Quickness, burst and ran with energy. He additionally lined Jones shattering one document as soon as held by the legendary Mustang and Ram.
“The yr I noticed him was when he set the varsity document for season touchdowns. He surpassed Eric Dickerson in speeding TD’s, so that claims one thing proper there,” Sayles stated.
Whereas taking part in in an Air Raid system, the Mustangs nonetheless fed Jones the ball. He responded with 23 touchdowns via the bottom sport in ’19. He additionally dashed his technique to two 1,000-yard seasons in 2017 and in ’19. Jones introduced a shifty aspect to the Mustang offense, seen under.
Jones feels like he’s prepared for what the longer term holds by sending out this tweet.
Sayles provides that even when Jones shares the load within the absence of Akers, he’s shared backfield duties earlier than: He ran the ball alongside Ke’Mon Freeman in school. However Sayles stated Jones nonetheless has that No. 1 RB mindset.
“He desires to be the man. It could seem to be he’s a greater match as a complimentary again or a again who can share the load with another person. However he desires to point out all people that he will be your 1,400 or 1,500-yard again,” Sayles stated. “He desires the position and he’s going to do what he can to ensure he will get the ball. Obtained to respect that.”
May the Rams Discover Success with One other Memphis Star?
Isaac Bruce as soon as went from beloved Memphis Tiger to revered Ram by rewriting the franchise receiving document books.
He’s clearly not a WR, however Henderson is the newest Memphis Tiger to be tasked with igniting the Ram offense.
Evan Barnes of The Business Attraction lined Henderson in 2018, throughout Henderson’s breakout season that noticed him rumble for 1,909 yards and rating 22 touchdowns at Memphis. Barnes recalled the very first thing he remembers in Henderson.
“Whenever you discuss velocity, Darrell had nice, nice velocity. You give him a gap, he was gone,” Barnes instructed Heavy. “And I feel Ram followers have most likely seen a few of that with slightly little bit of that burst. He’s a get-out-and-go man.”
Right here’s one prime instance of Henderson’s velocity and burst throughout his time within the 901.
Just like the Jones/Dickerson connection, Bruce’s identify is linked to Henderson given their school tie-in.
“It’s humorous as a result of Isaac Bruce remains to be nicely cherished right here in Memphis. And when Darrell obtained to the Rams, for some folks it grew to become deja vu,” Barnes stated. “It’ll be enjoyable and Memphis followers will certainly be curious on how Darrell does.”
It’s a troublesome process to exchange Akers for the Rams, given the spark he confirmed within the playoffs and late in 2020. However Barnes has seen what Henderson is able to, with the sensation Memphis success for the Rams might repeat itself.
“Whenever you lose somebody like Cam Akers, clearly it’s not simple to say ‘OK, subsequent man let’s go.’ Clearly within the NFL, the lead guys are the lead guys for a cause. However Darrell, I feel, has proven himself to be very succesful these previous two seasons,” Barnes stated. “Now he’s comfy within the offense. Hopefully this will probably be a yr he can present why he was an All-American right here.”
In Akers’ absence, L.A. can nonetheless flip to the previous school stars. However this time, the Rams can hope for a redux of the previous SMU and Memphis greatness seen by the franchise earlier than.