One of the ideas I have been toying with, is looking at every piece of film that the fine folks at Draft Breakdown have on each Titans rookie, and putting up (what I believe to be) their best college game up on this site. This series of stories would be called "rookie appreciation". This is a little similar to what I did when each player was drafted by the Titans, but instead of cutting up the film into highlight gifs, the point of this is to show you what each player looks like when they "go off" for an entire game.
Now, with training camp coming up and real (well at least preseason) football getting ready to start within a month, this is one of the last times that it will be important to look at what the rookies did in college.
With that in mind, this is the Bishop Sankey edition of rookie appreciation.
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As you can see this is Bishop Sankey and his Washington Huskies against the Illinois Fighting Illini. This was not only Sankey's best statistical game of the year (tallying 271 total yards and three TDs) but it also showed every tool you could possibly look for in a featured running back. Lateral burst, vision, patience, straight-line speed, great hands, pass blocking, and tough running both between the tackles and on the outside were all on display here.
There are three things that really stand out to me in this game, and they are ultimately why I chose it for rookie appreciation:
1. Sankey runs hard every play. Whether it is a run late in the game to secure the win, a crucial catch and run on a long 2nd down, or if it is just 1st and 10, Sankey gives it his absolute best every time.
2. Rarely do you see one man take Sankey down in the open field. It happens, but mostly it happens because Sankey doesn't see a way to escape and he understands that what makes the Washington offense run effectively is using a no-huddle to keep opponents off balance.
3. Finally, no matter how much the defense was keying on him or how much pressure was on him, he didn't make any crucial mistakes. No fumbles for Sankey in this game and no drops or miscues in the passing game. The fact that the defense knew from the first drive that he was the number one option in this game, did nothing to slow him down.
Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more rookie appreciation pieces.