UCF Spring Training Countdown: #8, RB Isaiah Bowser

ORLANDO — Few running backs in college football can truly carry the ball 33 times in a college football game and handle the pounding that comes with that number of runs. That’s what Isaiah Bowser accomplished against Boise State in 2021, however, in the opener against Boise State.

His 172 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown against the Broncos were the main reasons the Knights came back from a 21-0 deficit and earned the first win of the season. Bowser also had four receptions for 29 yards in that same contest.

All those touches, yards and touchdowns were great. There remains an important question. For 2022, how can UCF and Bowser produce really good results without bumping it as much as last season? It’s the premise of where the spring ball really matters to Bowser and the UCF offense as a whole.

Isaiah Bower

Height: 6’1″, 225 pounds

Position: ball carrier

Experience

Bowser will be a fifth-year senior for the Knights. He’s had 703 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021, and that’s just in eight games. When healthy, Bowser is about as good at rushing for 100 yards in a game as any college football player.

At Northwestern, Bowser gained 866 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 before having two injury-shortened seasons in 2019 and 2020. Those injuries are what to avoid, to the best of Bowser’s and UCF’s ability, in 2022.

Be the first running back

Bowser can still play the same way. He must play the same way. Bowser is a powerful downhill racer. We cannot deny it. It’s double with keeping it healthy, though.

First, he has to get out once in a while. Like it or not, this is the best situation. Yes, Bowser is a competitor. It is very good. Still, he has to allow other very talented ball carriers to play while he limits body blows by occasionally calling for a substitute. Doing so will increase the chances of staying healthy throughout a 12 game schedule.

Isaiah Bowser – Gasparilla Bowl victory over Florida

Isaiah Bowser in Florida

Isaiah Bowser – Gasparilla Bowl victory over Florida

Isaiah Bowser gasparilla bowl

Isaiah Bowser – Gasparilla Bowl victory over Florida

During spring ball in particular, Bowser doesn’t really need to run the ball very much, or a lot of full-contact reps. He’s one of the few players who just needs the mental conditioning and rehearsals to stay where he is. A veteran who is locked into his ultimate goal of playing in the NFL, Bowser has a great way of helping himself and the Knights during spring training, which is a bit of a change for him.

Be a coach on the field

Teaching young players. Bowser is one of the most respected players on the UCF roster. When communicating with another running back about how to keep the football in traffic, or how to set up to block a blitzing linebacker in pass protection, or anything else, players are going to listen to Bowser.

He is a humble young man but has a lot of knowledge. Still, he could help by speaking up. He could really help the UCF offense and the team by being a little more vocal this spring. It also helps if the running UCF stable is loaded.

Two Step Back Sets

With so many running back options possible, look for more formations, more variety overall from the running back position. Everyone will have to wait until the 2022 season to see UCF in person, but there are a few baseline projections that make sense.

First, two running backs in the backfield at a time. Bowser and? Name one. There are several good options like Johnny Richardson, Mark Antony-Richards and RJ Harvey just to start.

Will UCF use one or more of the running backs in the slot while also having Bowser in the backfield? Possible. Time will tell us. Ultimately, finding ways to make the defense think instead of react is the goal here. The more a defense thinks, the more likely they are to slow down a bit after the snap of the ball.

Seeing a player like Richardson in the slot at the same time Bowser is in the backfield is just one possible scenario. Wildcat, maybe putting two wide running backs in a passing formation, etc. Bowser is a big part of one of those options because he’s such a talented runner that teams won’t just focus on him, but putting him in different spots could create misfires. assignments after the football slam. Hey, however big meter games are made, UCF will be all for it. This brings us to a final category.

be a decoy

Bowser is going to open up possibilities for other running backs like in the scenarios discussed above, as well as receivers and tight ends. Once the UCF quarterback’s situation becomes more stable, play assists should be a big plus this next season.

Additionally, it will help with any type of quarterback run i.e. quarterback sweep, play option, quarterback draw, etc. This is also the case with jet sweeps and screens. He’s such a good player that he’s really capable of opening the Knights’ passing offense without catching the ball. That’s huge for the UCF offense.

Final Thoughts

Bowser is a very good running back. To become great, you need more balance. Bowser, head coach Gus Malzah and the entire UCF coaching staff must strike a happy balance with how he trains this spring and behind, starting with how many touches he has. receives during games and how it is used with other ball carriers. It will be fun to see what the Knights come up with while Bowser plays one more season for UCF.

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