As of right now the Washington State roster shows that in 2014 the Cougs will have a lot of running backs. 9 to be exact. With the numbers and talent that the Cougs have coming up it is going to be hard to get a running back with elite skills who is willing to wait his turn and fight for a chance to get on the field but all players have the ultimate goal of winning and joining a winning team is worth the wait to play.
Joe Mixon, a 2014 graduate of Freedom High School out of Oakley, California is one of the best backs in his class. There is no doubt that he will be able to produce high end results for whatever school he decides he wants to attend in the fall of 2014. WSU Head Coach Mike Leach has been going after Mixon in hopes that he can land one of the top athletes in the 2014 class to help boost the cougar football program.
Mixon, one of the bigger backs coming out of the 2014 class at 6’0″ and 195 pounds, has the speed and agility that can make it big in the NCAA. When I watched Mixon’s film he reminds me a lot of Adrian Peterson in his style of play. He is not scared to hit the hole hard and can easily break a run for 20+ yards. A huge upside to his style of play is that he understands that he needs to get up field and not stand back and dance and hope and wait that a hole will open up.
One of the problems I noticed with Mixon though is his protection of the ball. He holds it with one hand and when running over would-be tacklers or while being tackled he doesn’t cover it up. This scares me the most with him because with his style of play, if an experienced defensive player notices that he will take all the advantage he can and reach in and possibly cause a turnover. This issue is something that can easily be fixed with good coaching along with a learned lesson or two on the field.
When Mixon would go out of the backfield for a pass he showed great range and leaping ability and good hands when going for the ball and was able to focus and make some impressive catches and was still able to hit the ground running and could break free at any moment. With the speed, catching ability, agility, and power that he has Mixon could be a great back for the cougs in taking hand-offs as well as going out for a pass.
Overall, Mixon is a great running back who has the ability to gain big yards and can go out of the backfield and make some catches is the exact type of player that would fit in great with Washington State granted he doesn’t have a problem with seeing a few carries here and there and being used as a receiver when needed.
Besides the Cougars Mixon has been offered by 38 other schools including Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Washington, and Georgia.
Below you will find Mixon’s junior year highlight tape.