Steelers 2013 Draft – Alabama RB Eddie Lacy Scouting Report Profile
The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly had Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in for a pre draft visit on Saturday, and once again, our scouting buddy Dave-Te\’ Thomas was kind enough to give us his detailed scouting report profile on him, which you can read below.
EDWARD “Eddie” LACY
University of Alabama Crimson Tide
Dutchtown High School
After patiently waiting for his opportunity while playing behind Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both first round selections in recent drafts, Lacy “exploded” on to the national scene while leading the Crimson Tide to the national championship in his only season as a starter. The Alabama ball carrier is not the type that you would expect that can turn on the “after burners” attacking the second level, but he has great field vision and leg drive, resulting in the player leading the NCAA Football Subdivision’s active players with a career average of 6.77 yards per rushing attempt.
Lacy has thick thighs and calves, along with the strong leg drive that easily allows him to break initial tackles. With his sturdy build, he can carry the load and navigate through traffic taking the ball up the middle of the field, but he is also surprisingly agile with cat-like moves to take the ball long distances once he clears trash. In 2012, he produced thirteen carries that went distances of 20 yards or longer, scoring on four of those long attempts.
Much like former Tennessee Titans All-Pro, Eddie George, Lacy has a bit of an upright running style, but he has proven to be nearly impossible for isolated tacklers to bring down, especially when he lowers his pads, bulls his way forward and wraps the ball securely. He generates very good pop upon initial contact to rock his opponents back on their heels and he demonstrates good body lean to fall forward in attempts to gain additional yardage.
Unlike most young ball carriers that prefer to simply punish defenders, Lacy has the balance, body control and lateral moves to slide and locate the cutback lanes, as he demonstrates good maturity and patience waiting for his lead blockers to create room for him to operate. He has also developed efficient receiving skills to be a valid threat coming out of the backfield in short area passing situations.
The pride of Dutchtown High School, the Louisiana native was a recruiting coup for head coach Nick Saban and the University of Alabama, securing the ball carrier’s services away from Southeastern Conference rival, Louisiana State. At Dutchtown High, Lacy was rated the 13th-best running back in the nation, according to Rivals.com, ranking 17th at his position by ESPN and 24th by Scout.com. The four-star prospect added All-American honors from Prep Football Report and Super Prep during his senior season.
Lacy also received first-team Class 5A All-State honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, as the Mobile Press-Register\’s Super Southeast 120 choice was a member of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 squad, despite playing in only seven games during his senior year due to injuries (right ankle sprain and left knee medial collateral ligament sprain). He still managed 1,046 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008.
That marked his third consecutive season producing 1,000 yards on the ground. As a sophomore, Lacy totaled 1,207 yards with nineteen touchdowns on 178 attempts (6.78 ypc). The following year, he was named LSWA Class 5A All-State after rushing for 1,800 yards and 26 scores in 2007. He opted to attend the University of Alabama after finalizing his choices down to Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Louisiana State, but first had to retake his ACT test in order to qualify.
Lacy would spend his 2009 season at Alabama fully recovering from his high school knee injury. As a member of the scout team, he also worked on refining weak areas of his game.
“I have good vision and speed,” the tailback noted during his red-shirt season. “I\’m able to get away from defenders. I move well and I try to play like Adrian Peterson. I have a lot of power too. I really need to improve my pass blocking. That\’s something I don\’t do a lot. I also want to improve my leg strength and have better drive. I plan on doing a lot of squats and strength training.”
Lacy earned his spot as the third string tailback behind Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson in 2010. In the season opener vs. San Jose State, he ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut. In the Capital One Bowl vs. Michigan State, he averaged 17.2 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns, including a 62-yarder in the second half. He would finish his first college campaign with 406 yards and six touchdowns on 56 attempts (7.25 ypc), adding four tackles on special teams.
With Mark Ingram departing for the National Football League (New Orleans), Richardson and Lacy advanced to the top two running back spots for the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide football team. In the pre-season, those close to the program opined that “the Richardson-Eddie Lacy duo may put up bigger and better numbers and go down as the best duo in recent history.”
Backfield partner Richardson told reporters that Lacy\’s spin move is what separates him from other backs: “It\’s the nastiest spin move ever.” The move earned Lacy the nickname “Circle Button” based on the button on PlayStation\’s video games that triggers a spin move. Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News wrote, “To the fans, Eddie Lacy is a dread-locked blur, spinning past defenders into the secondary. To his teammates, he\’s affectionately known as \’Circle Button.\'”
In the 2011 season opener vs. Kent State, Lacy contributed 134 yards of offense with 76 receiving yards on three catches and 58 rushing yards on eight carries (an average of 7.3 yards per rushing carry). His 48-yard gain on a screen pass was the longest passing play of the game. Asked in a post-game press conference if he had hit the “Circle Button” a few times in the game, Lacy joked, “Yeah, I did a few spin moves.”
The Birmingham News wrote that Lacy “ran more impressively” vs. Kent State than the Crimson Tide\’s top running back, Trent Richardson. Another commentator led his coverage of the Kent State game with the headline, “Lacy, not Richardson, has look of Heisman-caliber running back in game one.” After the game, head coach Nick Saban noted, “Eddie\’s a fast guy, an explosive guy.”
The sophomore would appear in twelve games during the 2011 schedule. He suffered a toe injury vs. Florida and did not play following week vs. Vanderbilt. The injury limited him to five carries when he returned one week later vs. Mississippi. He would eventually undergo turf toe surgery following the season and missed almost all of 2012 spring practices. His second season with the Tide saw Lacy record 674 yards and seven touchdowns on 95 carries (7.09 ypc), as he also caught eleven balls for 131 yards.
Much like the previous season when Ingram departed for the NFL, the Alabama “food chain” at tailback saw Lacy elevated to the starting tailback position with Trent Richardson joining the Cleveland Browns. Lacy suffered an ankle sprain during preseason practice and \’tweaked\’ it vs. Louisiana State, but still managed to start all fourteen games for the Tide in 2012. His back-up was true freshman T. J. Yeldon and both ball carriers finished the year with over 1,000 yards each.
Lacy received All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors and was named the team’s Player of the Week six times. He collected 1,322 yards on 204 carries, the eighth-highest yardage total in a season by a Tide player. His average of 6.48 yards per carry set a school season-record and was the second-best for an SEC player in a campaign (minimum 200 carries). His seventeen touchdowns tied for third on the school record chart. He closed out his career earning MVP honors vs. Notre Dame in the national title clash, as he gained 140 yards with a score on 20 attempts, in addition to catching a pass for a touchdown.
On January 11th, 2013, Lacy announced that he would be leaving the University of Alabama and had declared for the NFL Draft. All-American cornerback Dee Milliner and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker would also inform the school that they were leaving for the professional ranks.
“I would like to take this time to honor these young men for the great job that they have done in how they have represented the University of Alabama and their family,” Coach Saban said. “They have all been great people, in terms of how they have represented our organization. From a personal character standpoint, these guys have been great representatives and great ambassadors for the University of Alabama and we really appreciate that.”
“I want to start by thanking the University of Alabama, Coach Saban and Coach Burns, my position coach,” Lacy said. “I want to thank all of my teammates and the teachers and academic staff here at the university; the training staff, Jeff Allen and especially Jeremy Gsell; we put in a lot of time over the years here.”
“Of course I want to thank all of the fans. They are great fans. It has been an amazing experience here. I developed well as a player and as a person here at Alabama. As I look back at the four years, I feel that I have accomplished all of the goals that the team and I set out to accomplish.”
Lacy spent the next month preparing for the agility tests that would be conducted in late February at the NFL Scouting Combines in Indianapolis. But, on February 18th, ESPN announced that the running back would not be working out at the event after suffering small tear in some tissue around his hamstring while training. The player stated that he would be fully recovered to participate at Alabama’s Pro Day on March 13th, however.
Lacy appeared in 37 games at the University of Alabama, starting his final fourteen contests…Leads the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision’s active players with a career rushing average of 6.77 yards…That mark ranks second on the school all-time record list (minimum 200 carries), topped by only Wilbur Jackson (7.21 ypc; 1,529 yards on 212 carries; 1971-73)…They are joined by Tony Nathan (6.44 ypc; 1,997 yards on 310 carries; 1975-78), Dixie Howell (6.34 ypc; 1,508 yards on 238 carries; 1933-34) and Lowell Tew (6.02 ypc; 1,829 yards on 304 carries; 1944-47) as the only Crimson Tide players to average at least six yards per carry during a career…His rushing average also established a South-eastern Conference all-time record (minimum 350 attempts), breaking the previous mark of
6.62 yards by Bo Jackson of Auburn (4,303 yards on 650 rushes; 1982-85)…Carried 355 times for 2,402 yards, as his yardage total placed 11th on the school career-record list…
Ran for thirty touchdowns, adding 338 yards and two scores on 35 receptions (9.66 ypc), as he scored 192 points, recorded five assisted tackles and amassed 2,740 all-purpose yards, an average of 74.05 yards per game.
All-American Dream Team selection by The NFL Draft Report, as that scouting information service rates the Tide ball carrier the top prospect at the tailback position eligible for the 2013 draft…Received All-Southeastern Conference first-team recognition from the league’s coaches, as he took over starting duties for Alabama, despite being limited by an ankle sprain suffered in fall camp that he would later re-injure in the Tide’s ninth contest, vs. Louisiana State…Paced the team and finished third in the SEC with an average of 94.43 yards per game on the ground, helping a unit that placed second in the league and 16th in the nation with an average of 227.5 yards per game rushing…Carried a career-high 204 times for 1,322 yards, the eighth-best season total in school history…Set the Tide annual record by averaging 6.48 yards per carry (minimum 200 attempts), topping the previous mark of 6.23 yards by Bobby Humphrey (1,471 yards on 236 carries) in 1986…The only other Alabama player to average over six yards per carry on a minimum of 200 attempts in a season was Mark Ingram (6.12 ypc; 1,658 yards on 271 carries) in 2009…His yards-per-carry average also tied Knile Davis of Arkansas (1,322 yards on 204 attempts in 2010) for second on the SEC season-record chart, surpassed by only Garrison Hearst, Georgia (6.79 ypc; 1,547 on 228 carries; 1992)…His seventeen touchdown runs tied Siran Stacy (1989) and Mark Ingram (2009) for third on the school season-record list behind Shaun Alexander (19 in 1999) and Trent Richardson (21 in 2011)…His seventeen scoring runs also tied Charles Alexander of Louisiana State (1977), Bo Jackson of Auburn (1985), Reggie Cobb of Tennessee (1987), Tim Worley of Georgia (1988), Moe Williams of Kentucky (1995), Carnell Williams of Auburn (2003) and Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina (2010) for the ninth-best season total by a Southeastern Conference running back…Ranked fifth on the team with 22 receptions for 189 yards (8.58 ypc) and two scores…Paced the Tide in scoring with 114 points, as his average of 8.14 points per game was good for fifth in the conference… His average of 107.93 all-purpose yards per games was seventh-best in the SEC ranks, as he totaled 1,511 yards on 226 touches…Ran for over 100 yards five times, including in each of his final three contests, totaling 452 with five touchdowns during that three-game stand…Had 31 “explosive” rushes (12-plus yards), including fifteen for 20 yards or longer, as four of his seventeen touchdown runs were for more than 20 yards…Was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Week six times (vs. Arkansas, Florida Atlantic, Missouri, Texas A&M, Auburn and Georgia)…In his first career start, Lacy rushed for 35 yards and one touchdown, as he converted three rushing first downs and caught one pass for 10 yards….Named one of the offensive players of the week by the Alabama coaching staff vs. Arkansas, after the junior set a career-high with three rushing touchdowns and carried the ball 12 times for 55 yards…Got loose for his first 100-yard rushing game of the season vs. Florida Atlantic, as he ran for 106 yards on only 15 carries, all in the first half, averaged 7.1 yards per carry and converted first downs on five carries to earn offensive player of the week honors from the Alabama coaching staff…Carried 18 times for 177 yards and tied his career-best with three rushing touchdowns while averaging 9.8 yards per carry vs. Missouri. On the second play of the game, he broke free for a career-long run of 73 yards and also caught two passes for 17 yards, converting six first downs rushing and one passing…In the Louisiana State game, the tailback rushed for a team-high 83 yards before leaving in the second half with a tweaked ankle. He averaged 7.5 yards on 11 carries and opened the scoring for the Tide with a seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter…
Averaged 9.9 yards per carry (10 rushed for 99), with three touchdowns, scoring on runs of seven, seven and three yards vs. Western Carolina, as he had four explosive rushes of 12 yards or more (long of 21) and six of his rushes converted first downs…Named Alabama offensive player of the week after rushing for 131 yards on 18 carries in only of a half of action, as he scored two touchdowns and had seven rushes that converted a first down with a long carry of 32 yards vs. Auburn…In the SEC Championship Game vs. Georgia, Lacy was named the game\’s MVP after rushing for a career-high 181 yards in the 32-28 victory. He also carried a career-high 20 times and scored two touchdowns on runs of one and 41 yards. He had six attempts of 12-plus yards and nine that resulted in a first down or touchdown to garner his sixth Alabama offensive player of the week honor…In the BCS Championship Game, Lacy scored on an 11-yard catch and carried 20 times for 140 yards, powering his way for a 20-yard touchdown while setting up another score with a 20-yard scamper in a 42-14 defeat of Notre Dame.
Lacy was the first running back off the bench for Alabama in 2011, playing behind All-American Trent Richardson…He finished second on the team with 674 yards on 95 carries (7.09 ypc) that included seven touchdowns…Ranked ninth in the Southeastern Conference and just outside the top 100 nationally with an average of 56.17 yards rushing per game… Had sixteen attempts for 12 yards or longer and posted 27 first down rushes, along with six first downs receiving…Was named the Offensive Player of the Week three times by the UA coaching staff…Battled turf toe throughout the second half of the season, missing the Vanderbilt game and undergoing surgery after the season that forced him to miss almost all of 2012 spring drills…In the season opener vs. Kent State, he ran eight times for 58 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run. He also caught three passes for 76 yards with a long of 48…Averaged 7.73 yards per carry on 11 totes vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions for 85 yards in the 27-11 victory…Recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game with 161 yards on nine carries for an impressive 17.89 yards per attempt, as he broke free for runs of 67, 43 and 35 yards with the 67- and 43-yarders going for touchdowns vs. North Texas… In the Florida contest, Lacy saw limited action with a foot injury, but carried the ball five times vs. the Gators for 32 yards and a touchdown…Was named one of the Alabama Offensive Players of the Week vs. Mississippi State, following his 96-yard, two-touchdown performance vs. the Bulldogs, as he converted three first downs and had three runs of more than 12 yards, adding touchdowns of two and 32 yards.
Lacy came off the bench and gave the Tide an added dimension in the running game… Even though he was listed third on the depth chart, the red-shirt freshman played a significant role on special teams for the Tide, starting on the kickoff coverage unit…He rushed 56 times for 406 yards (7.25 ypc) and six touchdowns, added two catches for 18 yards and registered four assisted tackles on kickoff coverage…19 of his 56 carries went for a first down or a touchdown…In his first career game he rushed the ball 13 times for 111 yards and added two touchdowns, also posting one tackle on special teams vs. San Jose State…Rushed the ball seven times for 52 yards and scored a touchdown while also assisting on one tackle vs. Duke…Was named one of the Special Teams Players of the Week by the coaching staff vs. Mississippi State, as he came off the bench to rush the ball eight times for 35 yards with a long run of 15 yards and registered one tackle…Carried the ball 13 times for 81 yards and added a touchdown in the second quarter on a three-yard run vs. Georgia State…Averaged 17.2 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns in a commanding 49-7 victory over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, as Lacy finished with 86 yards on five carries, including scores of 62 and 12 yards.
Lacy red-shirted during his initial season at Alabama.
2008 Season…As a senior in high school, Lacy played in only seven games…Before the season began, he suffered a left knee medial collateral ligament sprain, causing him to miss a few games. He later suffered a right ankle sprain and was again sidelined.
Durability 4 In 2011, suffered a toe/foot injury vs. Florida. Did not play following week (Vanderbilt) and was limited to five carries when he returned one week later (Mississippi). Had turf toe surgery following the 2011 season and missed all 15 spring practices in 2012. Junior season (2012) will be first as fulltime starter.
2011 Season…Suffered a turf toe injury and left the Florida game (10/01), also sitting out the next contest, vs. Vanderbilt (10/08) before returning for limited duty vs. Mississippi (10/15)…Underwent turf toe surgery after the season and missed most of 2012 spring camp.
4.48 in the 40-yard dash…1.58 10-yard dash…2.57 20-yard dash…4.22 20-yard shuttle…
11.80 60-yard shuttle…7.59 three-cone drill…33 1/2-inch vertical jump…9’4” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times…32 ¼-inch arm length…10-inch hands…76 3/8-inch wingspan.
Lacy attended Dutchtown (Geismar, La.) High School, playing football for head coach Benny Saia…Rated the 13th-best running back in the nation, according to Rivals.com, ranking 17th at his position by ESPN and 24th by Scout.com…The four-star prospect added All-American honors from Prep Football Report and Super Prep during his senior year…
Also received first-team Class 5A All-State honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, as the Mobile Press-Register\’s Super Southeast 120 choice was a member of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 squad, despite playing in only seven games during his senior year due to injuries (right ankle sprain and left knee medial collateral ligament sprain)…Still managed 1,046 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008.
That marked his third consecutive season producing 1,000 yards on the ground…As a sophomore, Lacy totaled 1,207 yards with nineteen touchdowns on 178 attempts (6.78 ypc)…The following year, he was named LSWA Class 5A All-State after rushing for 1,800 yards and 26 scores in 2007.
General Studies major…Born in 1990…Resides in Geismar, Louisiana.