Competitiveness: Very tough and well put together kid. Runs with a chip on his shoulder. Rarely shies away from contact or runs out of bounds. Makes himself compact and will lower his head and push the pile, and will also lower his head in the open field and run threw defenders. Plays with a lot of fire and passion.
Vision/Patience: Big running backs usually don’t have patience, but that is not the case for Leshoure. His vision is extraordinary. He’s able to find creases, big or small. Has the ability to see the cut back lanes. Plays with a lot of patience. Allows his blockers to get their bodies on defenders, and allows holes to develop. Also shows extraordinary vision in the open field. Does a good job of making defenders pay when they take poor angles.
Agility/Acceleration: Very agile and light on his feet. Has some shake and bake and wiggle to his game. Can cut on the dime and leave tacklers in mud. Always makes the first defender miss. Possesses two gears. Can explode through the hole and reach the second level consistently. Top end speed is average. Will break off long runs and get caught from behind on occasion.
Power/Balance: Runs the ball powerfully. Doesn’t go down easily. Usually takes more than one defender to bring him down. Shows excellent balance, especially during contact. Bounces off of tacklers often, and keeps going. Will run upright at times, but knows when to bend his knees and play with leverage.
Passing Game: Excellent in the passing game. Sells the screen well. Can come out the backfield on swings and wheels and make a play. Does a nice job of picking up blitzers when asked to stay in and protect.
Intangibles: 2010 College Football Performance Awards Running Back. 2010 AP All-American Second Team. 2010 First Team All-Big Ten selection. Second in the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns. Suspended for September 2009 matchup against Illinois State for violating team rules. Suffered broken jaw in 2008 and lost 17 pounds. Reportedly it was due to a fight with teammate Jeff Cumberland.
Overall Stock: Mikel Leshoure was highly impressive in 2010. His combination of size and agility made him dangerous every time he touched the ball. His numbers are slightly deceiving. He had the luxury of playing in an option read offense where holes were larger than normal, due to defenders having to worry about the quarterback running. Nonetheless, Leshoure is an excellent talent. With his play in 2010, he has worked his way into late first-second round consideration. He is currently ranked as the second best running back, behind Heisman Award winner, Mark Ingram. He isn’t the fastest guy, so teams will pay close attention to his forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine. If he can put up an acceptable number, he won’t last long in the draft. Leshoure is some what of an unknown to the average football fan. I think fans will soon know who Leshoure is.
NFL Comparison: Arian Foster, Rashard Mendenhall