J.K. Dobbins wants to prove he is the best back available in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Ohio State running back might have to wait, though.
Still feeling the effects of the high-ankle sprain that slowed him in the latter stages of Ohio State’s loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl in December, the running back said he might not run a 40-yard dash or do other workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine this week.
It will come down to how he feels Friday when workouts are scheduled for running backs, special teamers and offensive linemen.
“If I’m not 100%, I don’t want to go out there and not show my full potential,” he said. “I’ve been able to try it for a few weeks now. Definitely I wish I could have more weeks, but we’ll see. If I’m at my full potential. I’ll go definitely go. I love competing. That’s what I love to do. That’s why I’m here. If I don’t do it here, I’ll definitely do it at Ohio State’s pro day (in March).”
Dobbins confirmed the injury against the Tigers had a major impact on him.
He ran for 141 yards in the first quarter but only 33 the rest of the way as the Buckeyes lost 29-23.
“It was a significant injury,” he said. “It was a very high ankle sprain. It was definitely tough to even go back and battle through it. It hurt a lot, definitely, but I just wanted to win the game for my team and tried to get to the national championship.”
He still became the first Ohio State running back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, finishing with 2,003.
In his three-year career, the La Grange, Texas, native ran for 4,459 yards. He passed Ezekiel Elliott and Eddie George on the Ohio State career rushing yards list late in the season and finished behind only Archie Griffin, who had 5,589 yards in the early ‘70s.
“My legacy at Ohio State, I haven’t really had time to just sit down and think about it because soon after the game when I was declaring (to leave school with a year of eligibility remaining), I wanted to go start training,” said Dobbins, who is working out in Florida this winter. “So I haven’t had the time to sit down and think about it, but you know, a lot of guys will mention like how I ran for more yards than Ezekiel Elliott and Eddie George, and more than Archie Griffin in one season. It’s pretty surreal. It’s definitely amazing thing. I’m very, very blessed. I just haven’t had time to sit down and think about it.”
Dobbins can bolster his draft stock by showing off his athleticism for NFL scouts, but what he identified as his best trait is not really discernible in that setting anyway.
“I think I have vision that’s out of this world,” he said. “It’s definitely a God-given talent. I think that’s the best thing about my game.”
That is something he noticed about himself at a young age.
“I think it’s always something that I had,” he said. “As a little kid in pee-wee football, we’d run a play and a play would be going this way and I’d see a hole all the way back here and guys were like, ‘How did you see that?’ So I always feel like I’ve always had it, but then as I got to college and I started learning the blocking schemes and what the defense was going to do, it just elevated it even more.”
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