When it came time for a big game in 2012, University of Alabama running back Eddie Lacy responded.
After a five-point, mid-season loss to Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, Lacy rushed for 99 or more yards in each of the next four games, including a 140-yard, one-touchdown performance in the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in the National Championship Game.
“I feel as though it helped a lot,” Lacy said of the title game. “If I wouldn’t have done so (well), I don’t know if I’d be in the position I’m in now. I can always get better. You really can’t limit what one player can do based on how he started, but rather, the way I finished.
“I was able to show up in the big games on the big stages, and in the NFL, every game is a big game, no matter what. Since I was able to perform well in those games, that should give them some kind of indication that I can do the same thing on the next level.”
Last fall, Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries, and amassed a career total of 2,402 yards and 30 scores while playing in a reserve role behind 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and 2011 Heisman finalist
Despite splitting carries with T.J. Yeldon, Lacy managed to rush for 551 yards and eight touchdowns in his final four games in college, and that has propelled him to the top of the draft boards of many analysts. Now, Lacy is working to carry on an Alabama tradition, as Ingram and Richardson were the first running backs taken in their respective drafts.
“It’s a good feeling, but I don’t know,” Lacy said of being considered the best rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft. “I’m just happy to be here.
“I was (at Alabama) for four years. After a while, you can’t take as many licks because as a running back, you don’t have that many years to take them. At a school like Alabama, you get talent year-in and year-out. Even when one leaves, the next person right behind them is going to be just as good, or even better.”
At the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Lacy said he offers NFL teams power, agility, pass catching and pass protection. He also feels that turning the corner and getting downfield will not be a problem in the NFL.
“(I plan on) just being able to be a powerful runner if I need to or an agile runner and make people miss,” Lacy said. “With my size, being agile and able to make people miss, that’s key.
“I know they pass the ball a lot, but at the same time, having a guy that can run the ball a lot, that will benefit your offense. In short-yardage plays, you can’t really throw the ball. It would be easier to run it. If you had that running back, then, that’s not a problem.”