When Gators fans talk about the future of the running back position at Florida, two names pop up: sophomore Matt Jones and freshman Kelvin Taylor. However, there is one more intriguing name: Adam Lane.
The No. 1 running back on coach Will Muschamp’s running back “Big Board” and the first commitment of the Class of 2013, Lane has drawn similarities to Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin because of his compact body at 5-foot-8, 216 pounds and downhill running style.
The story on Lane is interesting. After a stellar sophomore year at Winter Haven, in which he rushed for over 1,000 yards on only 80 carries, his value went through the roof. However, before the start of his junior year, Lane broken his fibula and sat out the season. Recovering throughout the year, Lane was able to participate in the 2012 Florida State Weightlifting Championship, in which he bench-pressed 415 pounds (best in the state) and clean and jerked 310 pounds, earning him third place overall in the state. Lane bounced back during his senior year, amassing 1,624 yards on 205 carries with 12 rushing touchdowns.
Lane is a much different type of running back than the current stable of Jones, Taylor and Mack Brown. However, Lane has a great opportunity at Florida to make an impact. Let’s look at the tape.
Lane has good speed but will never beat you with his top-end speed. However, Lane has quick acceleration out of the backfield, short strides and is shifty in his movement. It is clear that Lane has strong legs has he continues to power his feet forward until he is completely tackled, a skill not all high school running backs possess.
Coming out of the backfield, Lane has good vision and patience waiting for his hole and then attacking with a quick burst of speed. Lane does run most of the time through the tackles but will bounce outside when holes quickly close. Lane doesn’t seem as comfortable running outside than he does running inside, however. In the SEC, Lane may struggle with pushing some of those runs outside, because he doesn’t possess elite quickness around the edge. But between the tackles, Lane is very solid.
Also, it is worth remembering that at 5-foot-8, Lane has a very low center of gravity, coupled with good balance and leg strength, and does not go down on the first hit. He is able to power through one or two tackles and is quick to get back into his stride. Lane will excel behind a tall line of scrimmage and will be tough to tackle at the next level.
Lane’s biggest flaw is that he won’t be involved in pass protection, which could limit his plays. Lane’s size, although he is strong, is not ideal to block a rusher coming off the edge.
Lane may need a year, or two, but is going to be a solid running back for the orange and blue. He may never win any awards, but he is the type of back you want to be getting 10-12 carries a game.