Louisiana State University (LSU)
Listed Height- 5’11”
Listed Weight- 212 Pounds
Guice will be a junior this year at LSU, expected to be his first year as a full time starter. He was very highly touted coming out of high school and was the MVP of US Army All-American Game. He contributed a fair amount as a freshmen from taking carries, kick return duties, as well as special teams coverage. Did a nice job in all of those areas. As a sophomore, he started 6 games, gaining a total of 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. Most people who have heard of Guice know him as Leonard Fournette’s back-up but don’t get it twisted, Guice is just as talented if not more. Guice has shown big play ability throughout his career so far, whether it be his 75 yard kick return against Texas A&M as a freshmen, in which it seemed he broke a tackle on every member of the team. You have his 96 yard touchdown against Arkansas this last season where he just ran away from the entire secondary. The guy is a special talent and one of the best running back prospects in recent years. He finished with 250+ yards in two of his final 4 games.
Guice is listed at 5’11” around 212 pounds, with some room to grow if need be. He has a nice strong lower body & well-built upper body to go with it. If you are worried about his size, get out of here. I look at Guice as a runner who can do it all. Has excellent ability to cut/juke & make people miss in space. His ability to cut in a split second also helps to maneuver in & out of running lanes. Guice possesses a very dangerous spin move that he will use from time to time in open space. Good luck bringing him down with one person or even multiple people, Guice will run straight through wimpy arm tacklers. Strong finisher at the end of his runs, he’s no Fournette as a finisher but he punishes defenders. The legs are churning throughout the run to gain the maximum amount of yards.You really see a great feel for running the ball with Guice, this improved as he got a greater work load later on in the season. I’m really interested to see how he looks as a full time starter next season. He has phenomenal vision and patience as a runner, reads and sees how blocks are developing very well and follows them with good timing. Really nice footwork and balance when he’s avoiding tacklers, quick strong steps that often cause weak tackles to bounce off. Plays with a mean streak, loves contact. Often see him chirping with guys after the play, he enjoys running the ball hard. You don’t see great burst through the hole but if he gets in the open we’ve seen a strong second gear to take it to the house. Most of his experience is from the “i formation” so the transition into the NFL should be easier compared to some others who come from a spread. Guice will take people’s heads off as a blocker, so the willingness is there. I can see him having nice potential with his stiff arm, you’ve seen it a couple times if you watch him, should develop more upper body strength to improve that. I love that he doesn’t waste time running East-West, he’s all downhill trying to gain positive yardage.
Weaknesses/Concerns/Room for Improvement
Has experience running at the goal-line and short yardage, I wouldn’t say he’s a pile mover but he’ll fight his way through tacklers for extra yards, overall decent there. Although he’s a tough runner, he’s not a power back and won’t be the most effective in those situations. Some may view his lack of starter experience as a negative but for me, I would prefer my running backs to have as little “tread on those tires” as possible. As I said before, I don’t think Guice explodes through the hole with a great amount of explosion, more of guy who follows his blocks and makes moves in open space. As a pass blocker, Guice throws his body around a ton. He’s extremely effective but I would like to see him square up more as a blocker, so that he can avoid potential shoulder injury. I’m not really sure why LSU doesn’t get their backs involved in the receiving game. It leaves question marks there. When I watch him, I saw some really good routes but he didn’t get an opportunity to catch it. When he did get the ball thrown to him it was mostly screens, only 9 catches as a sophomore. The sample size is too small for a fair judgement. How will he respond being the guy with the target on his back this year? We didn’t get a chance to watch him against Alabama last year. If he performs like I believe he can, he’s going to be the focal point of defensive coordinators. Would like to see him tuck the ball better at times, feel he was holding it a little too low and loose. Another thing I noticed, when he sees there’s no hole for him to hit, he has a tendency to hesitate and take a loss of yards, think he needs to find a way to just get the most he can on broken plays. If you watch him against Texas A&M last year, it seemed he had a chance to bounce it outside at times but when he saw Myles Garrett he cut it back inside. Is he being smart or tentative? There was many times I saw him get right up on a defender before he made a move on them, and multiple times this ended in him getting his legs chopped. Hopefully, he just improves that as his feel and timing gets better. I also noticed, (only a few times) that he’ll be running the ball and have his eyes downfield, trying to figure where he wants to go but then he ends up running into the back or side of his blockers. I would say he has really good break away speed but he’s not going to fly away from you.
Overall, I love the potential that Derrius Guice has shown in his opportunities thus far. He shows a real ability to be an all purpose runner. I have no reason to believe he can’t be a great all purpose back from running, blocking and catching. I could easily see Guice with an impressive season, ending up as a top 10 pick. Honestly, if he’s not a first round pick I was wrong about him or he had a terrible injury. Not sure there’s many guys I am more anxious to see than Guice this season, I’m looking for a Heisman Award type season.
Guice does a really nice job of following his blocks. Especially does a nice job with pullers, he has great patience to follow them and forecast where his best opportunity lies. I would be worried about Guice if he went to a team with an awful O-line, I don’t know if he would respond to being swarmed at the line of scrimmage. I really like his fit in a zone running scheme like you see in Dallas. I believe if you already have a good O-line, Guice can make you into a feared league wide rushing attack. I know as Cowboys fans we don’t need a running back but be familiar with him in case he goes to a rival team. This is the last guy you want to defend twice a season
With his former teammate, Leonard Fournette going 4th last year to Jacksonville, I see no reason Guice couldn’t go top 5 as well, he should definitely be in top ten talks
1st round Lock
Highlights/Game vs Florida
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