Fast Running Back Recruit Pierre Cormier Turning Heads

A film evaluation of rising San Diego running back Pierre Cormier.

Running back Pierre Cormier (5'10, 180 pounds), a four-star prospect from San Diego (Calif.) Madison High School, was an under the radar recruit entering his junior season. A year ago, Cormier was tabbed to replace two-time 1,000 yard rusher and 2011 San Diego State signee, Da'saan Hardwick; having only logged 10 total carries at the varsity level. After initially serving notice to his potential with standout performances on the camp circuit, Cormier put together a stellar junior campaign totaling over 1,500 total rushing yards to go with 22 scores on the ground.

Cormier received his initial scholarship offer in March from UCLA. He attended its junior day event in March and came very close to pulling the trigger right then for the Bruins. Cormier decided to hold off, and since then has collected offers from such Pac-12 programs such as Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington State and Utah. In addition, Cormier has been extended verbal offers by Boise State, Cincinnati, Fresno State, Purdue, Nebraska and Nevada.

Positives:

Acceleration: Gets up to top speed quickly

Agility: Has top shelf body control at the running back position

Excellent cutting ability

Vision

Questions:

Is he big enough to carry the load or does he profile as more of complimentary back?

Is he strictly a spread type of back, or would he be able to produce within a more traditional scheme?

Cormier is a running back prospect that is shorter in stature but possesses a deceptively compact build. He is a runner with quick twitch explosiveness and top shelf agility; a true "two stepper" who gets up to top speed in an instant. And with him currently operating within a scheme that is predicated on getting him out into space, Cormier is a consistent home run threat.

Cormier doesn't profile as a traditional in-line runner at first glance but can ball up his frame and run with velocity in between the tackles. He doesn't project to carry that much power at the next level, but with his low center of gravity and leg drive, he figures to pick up his fair share of yards after contact. He has excellent jump cut agility but will need to do a better job pressing the hole in order to induce linebackers to slide out of their gaps and create the backside crease Cormier so easily exploits. At times, he will take too many lateral steps in the backfield when a lane isn't there and will default to bouncing the play outside.

Cormier is a very elusive runner with loose hips that allow him to avoid direct hits from defenders, and he displays great burst out of his cuts. Not to be classified as a "dancer," Cormier prefers to use sudden changes of direction in order to evade defenders. Cormier's size might preclude him from ever being a 200-touch type of back, and there are questions in regards to him being able to fit outside of a spread system. Regardless of offensive scheme, however, Cormier would probably best fit initially as a big play, Onterio McCalleb-type of changeup back who can provide a reliable backfield option in the passing game as well.

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