Many of us now know about Longhorns star running back Bijan Robinson. He has led the Texas backfield for the last two years, and his electric tape has led to him being considered the locked-in first running back off the board in the draft next year. That means that a year from now, said backfield will be ripe for the taking. In comes Jaydon Blue.
Blue, a four-star freshman ranked 15th at his position on the 247sport composite rankings, is an in-state recruit out of Klein Cain High School in Houston. He had 36 offers from juggernaut programs such as Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State, among others. However, Texas was the only school he took an official visit to. He committed to them in February 2021 and did not waver from his decision.
Blue is a unique recruit; he skipped his senior year of high school football to focus on preparing for college. This may explain why some ranking sites have him as low as they do. Blue’s tape is among the best in the class, and he has the stats to match it. As a junior in the 2020-21 season, he ran for 2,155 yards on 227 carries (9.5 avg.) and 30 TDs in 11 games. This was in Texas Division 6A, so against serious competition. He ran a verified 10.70 seconds 100m as a junior, and that speed shows up on tape. For reference, noted speedster and #1 running back recruit in the class, Nicholas Singleton, ran a 10.89.
As a freshman, Blue will see limited touches – if any – behind Robinson and Roschon Johnson. However, come the 2023 season, and beyond, the Longhorns backfield should be his.
Blue’s tape is littered with plays that highlight his track-level speed, such as this one:
His contact balance also pops off the screen. The ease with which he consistently bounces off tackles and pulls away from defenders is rare. In the run below, he clocked in at 21.2 MPH, just after having to break multiple tackles.
His strengths are contact balance, speed, play strength, and vision in traffic. On top of that, he is one of the class’s best route-running and pass-catching RBs. RBs don’t often get used in the passing game in high school, but he did catch 29 balls for 196 yards in two years. More importantly, he can do things like this.
And showcases the pass-catching skills like this play below.
Blue demonstrates the ability to manipulate defenders at the breakpoint, explode out of his breaks, track the ball, and catch it with good hand technique. He will undoubtedly be an asset in the passing game out of the backfield. That versatility to be able to catch passes and run routes downfield, get open, and track the ball is extremely valuable in modern-day football and will get NFL scouts to love him.
When it comes to making guys miss, Blue is good, not great. He is more of a slippery back, bouncing off contact rather than shaking guys out of their shoes. He also tends to try to do too much, a common trait in star high school RBs. It would be nice to see Blue consistently running between the tackles and taking what the defense gives him, rather than always trying to hit the home run.
Listed on the Texas website at 190 lbs, Blue will want to gain some weight by the time he is eligible for the draft in 2025. However, he displays excellent strength and power for his size and is certainly within the range of reaching a good size by then. We have yet to see what Blue can provide in pass protection, but given his ability as a receiver, coaches will likely want to get him out there on passing downs.
Don’t be fooled by Blue’s ranking on some recruiting sites. I believe they’re fading him because he sat his senior year. It may take him a bit to get back into game shape, but he has a year to sit behind Robinson and adjust to college football anyway. Blue is a strong athlete with electric tape. He has the stats and testing numbers to back it up. He had offers from any top-end program in the country that you can think of. There are no major red flags on his profile. For me, he is a top three back in this class. Once the 2023 season comes around, and the Longhorns backfield belongs to Blue, expect him to rapidly enter the discussion as one of the top backs in the nation.
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