Back Dallas a Prospect to Watch Ahead of Draft

Back To ACC

Dallas a Prospect to Watch Ahead of Draft

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

Miami running back Deejay Dallas is a name to watch.

There is a lot to like with Miami running back Deejay Dallas.

Recently announcing his decision to enter the NFL Draft following his junior season, Dallas has a dynamic and diversified skill set that makes him a fascinating next-level prospect. Dallas is a rare mix of production and potential, a multi-faceted talent who is still improving. Few college players were as proficient as Dallas, a savvy speedster who made the most of his opportunities. In addition to his traits like raw athleticism and statistics, Dallas plays with a very real moxie and conviction. He is both a player and leader you want on your team.

The numbers are those of a difference-maker. Dallas averaged 5.76 yards per carry for his career with the Hurricanes, rushing for a touchdown one out of every 15.5 attempts. With a pair of scores through the air this season, and 11.3 career yards per catch, Dallas is also a proven option in the passing game. Adding extra value to his profile is the fact that Dallas has 20 career kickoff returns and averaged 17.36 yards per punt return as a sophomore, scoring versus Pitt. Dallas has 2,106 all-purpose yards and 17 total touchdowns the past two years.   

An interesting frame of reference in regards to Dallas, his big play potential and the next level; Dallas is one of just five Power Five players this millennium with at least 17 rushing touchdowns, 17 yards per punt return and eleven yards per reception for his career. The last three players with those minimums, pre-Dallas, Rashaad Penny, Kenyan Drake and D'Anthony Thomas are all in the NFL. The last before that group, Maurice Jones-Drew, was a multiple-time first-team All-Pro running back.

Dallas, used more prominently on special teams for Miami in 2018, made a complete and comprehensive impact. That season, he became one of just ten P5 players the last 20 years with six rushing touchdowns, a punt return for a score and 365 kick return yards; among the others are Christian McCaffrey, C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush.

In an era of professional football where running backs are asked to fill a number of different roles, Dallas has done and can do it all. The trajectory he is on, as a highly-touted, multi-functional big play talent, is one that checks off all of the boxes for the modern day status quo at his position. Dallas, whether on offense, special teams or both, is ready for either an expanded or specific role at the next level. His macro and micro versatility comes with great value. As good as Dallas has been, he has not yet reached his full potential.

Furthermore, Dallas has proven to be at his best in big moments. Dallas' first extended action came in a rivalry game with Virginia Tech. One week later, he ran for two touchdowns in a top ten triumph over third-ranked Notre Dame. In the Orange Bowl, Dallas had a 39-yard scoring run and caught a 22-yard pass vs Wisconsin. He, as a sophomore, ran for a score and took a punt back versus Pitt. This year, he had a six-game ACC touchdown streak, division champion Virginia and rivals Florida State and the Hokies included, and 94 rushing yards, 131 total yards and a score against Florida.

The journey from Miami to the NFL is a path many have prominently taken. Dallas, still emerging, is poised to be one of the next in line.

Expect Dallas to be a rising name at running back in the months and weeks leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. Above all else, however, he is a playmaker. Dallas can be a feature back, but also a top option in the passing game and a game-changer on special teams. In high school, Dallas even led his program to the state championship game as a quarterback. Whichever team drafts Dallas will essentially be adding multiple players, in the form of one who can play a number of different positions, to their roster. 

Regardless of how he gets into space, Dallas is a home run waiting to happen. He has a great anticipation for oncoming defenders, see his prowess in the return game, runs with elite vision and balance and has a slippery fluidity at the line of scrimmage. Dallas, with great acceleration in addition to simply being fast, doesn't need but a few steps to get into a sprinter's stride. Situationally-aware, Dallas is also a savvy football player. His commitment and work ethic makes teams better.

Explosive and powerful at 5'10'', 214 pounds, the functional Dallas will impress evaluators with his size, speed and strength measurables. So, too, will his passion and persistence. Upcoming workouts are set to only help Dallas' cause and boost his stock. He is a name to watch. 

As soon as he announced his decision, Dallas became one of the draft's most exciting prospects; in some ways, still with more to offer, he is just getting started.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports