Blackshear talks thunder & lightning combo at RB, Reggie Bush tweet, & more
Raheem Blackshear is back for another season as the Rutgers football team’s starting running back. The 5-foot-9, 192-pounder is already entering his junior season after he was a late flip addition in the recruiting class of 2017.
“It’s going by fast. It’s crazy,” he said to TKR at the program’s annual Media Day last Wednesday.
The Scarlet Knights have dealt with some struggles on the offensive side of the ball in recent years including in 2018, but Blackshear was a bright spot. The Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) product led the team in rushing attempts, yards on the ground, receptions, receiving yards, and all-purpose yards.
From the end of last season and through the spring until the beginning camp, Blackshear didn’t stop as he worked hard in the weightroom and spent time out on the gridiron fine tuning his craft.
“The offseason went really well. I put on a lot of muscle. It’s helped me out. I got faster,” Blackshear said. “I really worked on catching balls out of the backfield and screens both out of the backfield and as a wide receiver.”
Heading into the 2019 campaign, Blackshear is expected to be the focal point of the offense. He’s not only on track to get carries on the ground, but be a weapon in the passing game once again, too.
But it doesn’t stop with Blackshear. Sophomore Isaih Pacheco, who got his feet plenty wet a year ago, should see plenty of chances to carry the ball in between the tackles as could true freshmen Aaron Young and Kay’Ron Adams.
Word is Young has performed well thus far in the early going of training camp. Blackshear touched on him and Adams the day before camp opened.
“The freshmen are doing good. When Aaron and Kay’Ron first came in, we helped them get adjusted,” Blackshear said. “They’re getting used to everything and things are slowing down for them. It’s a process.”
As a whole, the running backs group has depth and is one of the best on the team.
“We’re a strong unit,” Blackshear said. “We’re a brotherhood. We always do activities with each other.”
In the early 2000s, Reggie Bush and LenDale White starred for the University of Southern California. The two tailbacks formed a strong one-two punch, a thunder and lightning combo.
With the offense in need of some juice at Rutgers, Blackshear said he and Pacheco can rejuvenate it and form a thunder and lightning tandem of their own with the Scarlet Knights.
“We have a good one-two punch in the backfield,” Blackshear said. “You’ll see a lot of improvement in the games.”
This is the age of versatile running backs I like what I’m seeing and reading about this young kid Raheem Blackshear from Rutgers the more you can do the more valuable you make yourself! 🙌🏾 The Scarlet Knights will need him this year! 🏃🏾♂️💨 https://t.co/9CCkXNEAbx via @YouTube— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) June 17, 2019
And speaking of Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL player now current Fox Sports college football analyst sent out a tweet in June giving attention to Blackshear and his skillset. Other forms of media like Athlon Sports named him one of college football’s most underrated players a month ago. Blackshear was also named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award which is given to the nation’s most versatile player.
“I saw it,” Blackshear said of Bush’s tweet. “It was nice having a lot of people look at you. I looked up to Reggie Bush growing up. He was a great player. To have him put out a tweet and acknowledge my game like that is a blessing.”
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.