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Tale of the tape: Breece Hall Vs Isaiah Spiller

Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller are two of the best college running backs in the country. But who has the early edge for RB1 in the 2022 class? @TheHQNerd attempts to find out.

If you are into devy or just a general fan of college football, you are already well aware of Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller. These two-star running backs will battle it out next year for the title of running back one for the 2022 Class. Two premiere feature backs that have produced big numbers through their first two years in big-time power five conferences.

Let’s take a closer look into the history, stats, strengths, and weaknesses of the two highly skilled players. Get the magnifying glass out as we look into each player’s profile. Let’s see if one player stands out more than the other. Who will be crowned the early running back king of the 2022 class?

The Basics

Breece Hall Stats

  RushingReceivingScrimmage
YearSchoolConfClassPosGAttYdsAvgTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
*2019Iowa StateBig 12FRRB121868974.892325211.0120911495.510
*2020Iowa StateBig 12SORB1227915725.621231807.8230217525.823
CareerIowa State    46524695.330464329.4351129015.733

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/24/2021.

Isaiah Spiller Stats

  RushingReceivingScrimmage
YearSchoolConfClassPosGAttYdsAvgTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
*2019Texas A&MSECFRRB131749465.410292037.0020311495.710
*2020Texas A&MSECSORB1018810365.59201939.7020812295.99
CareerTexas A&M    36219825.519493968.1041123785.819

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/24/2021.

Ok now that we have the numbers and the stats, let’s go player by player and try and come to some baseline conclusions.

Breece Hall

Breece Hall was a bit of a late bloomer in High School. Breece didn’t start on his Varsity team until his junior season. Once he did, the college recruiting attention followed suit. Hall would eventually become a four-star recruit from 247 Sports, but it took a little time. Those who were late to the party certainly have missed out.

Arriving on campus in Ames, Hall wasted little time getting accustomed to the next level of football in the Big 12. His freshman season he exploded onto the scene accounting for 1,149 total yards, 10 total touchdowns, and 23 receptions out of the backfield. Hall quickly established himself as one of the premier young running backs in America. Hall’s sophomore season he took it to another level. Hall was featured on all three downs and used heavily as the bell cow for the Cyclones offense. Breece led all FBS with 1,572 rushing yards, 23 total touchdowns, and 23 receptions once again. Making Hall a unanimous first-team All-American.

let’s take a closer look at Breece the player…..

Strengths

Watching Breece Hall play you walk away thinking there are not many things he can’t do on the football field. He’s sound in many facets of his game. One of Hall’s greatest strengths is his patience. Time and time again Hall can be found waiting for his blocker or taking his time patiently looking for the right hole to hit. Once he makes his decisions, he shows solid burst through the line of scrimmage. Hall runs extremely hard. He constantly impresses with toughness and physicality.

Patience

Here we see some of that patience I mentioned. If you freeze the clip at the two-second mark, it’s tough to see where the whole will be coming from. Hall patiently dissects what he sees in front of him. Hall shows off one of his other skill -sets here as well, his subtle one-step juke cut. Once he sees the path, it’s a quick hesitation to move and go. It’s all over, Breece does the rest.

Footwork

In this clip, we see an even better example of Breece Hall’s ability to cut on a dime. It’s a simple juke step but it’s a weapon in his repertoire he flashes a lot in the second level of the field. Once again he starts with a patient approach. You have to feel for number 19 on Kansas. Just a filthy move.

Hall is a do it all guy. Whatever Iowa State has presented him with, Hall has shown he can handle it. Breece also possesses natural hands in the passing game. 46 receptions in his first two seasons help provide a dangerous three-down running back. He may not have the highest top-end speed. Hall may not be the most athletic back you have ever seen. That doesn’t mean Hall can’t showcase highly athletic traits on the field.

Spin Cyclone

Watching Hall play, numerous times he displayed one of the best spin moves I’ve seen, college or pro. In this clip from the Dynasty Nerds film room he shows not one, but two. I’ve mentioned his footwork previously with his ability to cut. Patience, vision, excellent footwork, and a couple of deadly spin moves. It’s all on display here.

 

 Areas to improve

  1. Hall has moments of indecision. He tends to shuffle his feet near the line of scrimmage a little too much instead of getting downhill right away. He works best when he puts his foot in the ground and goes.
  2. Pass protection needs work. Hall can catch the ball out of the backfield with nice soft hands. He’s able to stay on the field all three downs at Iowa State. He will need to improve as a pass blocker to stay on the field all three downs in the NFL.
  3. Hall is asked to do a lot at Iowa State. He jumped up to over 300 touches in 2020, in 12 games. A massive workload. He’s a tough, physical player. It would be nice to see him add a little more play weight to be able to keep handling the physical toll those kinds of touches can cause.


Isaiah Spiller

Texas native Isaiah Spiller enjoyed a stellar high school career which concluded with being named Under Armour All American. A highly touted four-star prospect by 247 Sports, Spiller eventually would bring his talents to College Station, Texas to play for the Texas A&M Aggies.

Like Breece Hall, Isaiah Spiller wasted no time getting acquainted with success at the major college football level. Spiller rushed for 946 yards and 10 touchdowns his freshman season in 2019, earning freshman all-SEC honors. He followed up his stellar freshman campaign with 1,036 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2020. Isaiah has also shown solid receiving chops in his first two years. He’s totaled 49 receptions for 396 yards through the air throughout his first two seasons at Texas A&M.

When you turn on the TV on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon rest assure Isaiah Spiller will be out there making highlight-reel plays. Spiller is one fun guy to watch. He’s more than just fun though. Spiller is one of the best all-around college running backs in the country.

Let’s take a closer look at Isaiah Spiller’s profile…

Physicality

I feel like if I didn’t start here I would be doing Spiller wrong. 6’1 225 pound Spiller is one of the most physical runners I’ve encountered watching in recent memory. He runs with purpose. At times with reckless abandon. When Spiller gets his foot in the ground and gets going downhill you better watch out. He seeks out contact and often it’s the defenders paying the price.

 

 Footwork

Like Breece Hall, Isaiah Spiller uses excellent footwork to excel on the field. They do it in two different ways which is fun to watch. Spiller’s feet are quick and explosive. He features great balance. Spiller consistently shows the ability to stop and go on a dime. He can cut in and out of harm’s way. He moves laterally well showing off his patent stutter step. In this clip, we see two back-to-back examples. The first play here is just silly. I’m not sure how Spiller gets nine yards here whatsoever. One thing I do know is if Spiller plays video games, he would be really good at playing Frogger. Don’t sleep on that hesitation juke cut in the second play either. I quickly lost track of the number of tackles Spiller evaded in these two plays.

 Burst

Some things Isaiah Spiller does on the football field are things you can’t just learn. Talent is talent. Isaiah Spiller just has it. One of his best natural traits is his ability to accelerate. Spiller gets from point A to point B in a hurry. When Spiller is really cooking, you see a player who trusts his vision and explodes through holes. Here we see that acceleration in full form. Spiller quickly gets to top speed, hits him with a stutter, and is gone.

Areas To Improve

  1. Spiller tends to run a little upright. He appears a little stiff at times. He manages to take on contact very well still but it would be nice to see him get better pad level.
  2. I saw some plays where he allowed the ball to come to his body first instead of using his hands in the passing game. Passing ability is generally just a pass/fail situation. He certainly is a pass, just something of note.
  3. Spiller has great game speed, he consistently flashes above-average acceleration. He’s faster from A to B in the intermediate areas of the field more than the third level. Spiller makes plenty of big plays, but I wouldn’t characterize long speed as one of his greatest strengths.

Conclusions

* I made this table to come up with a general consensus on some skill set comparisons between the two players.


  1. I gave Breece the edge in hands because I feel like after watching him play, he has more natural hands than Spiller. Don’t panic. This is not a knock on Spiller, who has faired extremely well in the receiving game.
  2. Long speed I left unmarked for both. Both have solid speed but Neither jumped out in that category.
  3. Spiller gains the edge in Athleticism and burst. Spiller flashes more high-level upside on film.
  4. Pass Blocking I give the edge to Spiller. Neither stands out really. Spiller flashes more consistency.

It feels like nitpicking when you are comparing two elite-level college running backs like Spiller and Hall. Their playstyles have similarities. Both runners consistently seem to fall forward for that extra yard. A very underrated trait that will keep you on the field. They also have some differences. Breece is more ground and pound, he wears you down. Spiller features a little more pizazz. He can beat you with athleticism. He also can beat you with power. His size is ideal for the NFL. He can win in a variety of ways. When you compare the two side by side, tough decisions will have to be made. These two aren’t separated by much. Hall may have the safer floor, but I feel like Spiller has the highest ceiling here. He just pops when you watch him. He’s a rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism mixed in with some nasty.

That’s a wrap

Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller forecast to be starting level running backs in the NFL. Both profiles will be superb when it’s all said and done. It’s splitting tiny hairs deciding who stands out just a touch more. One thing is for sure, Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller have very bright futures.

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