With fall camp in full swing and the running back position set up perfectly for a freshman to emerge as a real contributor, one name that hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as it deserves is Jordan Fredericks. The talented true freshman was the second commit in the 2015 class (after fellow freshman Tyrone Perkins), and has since been a bit overshadowed by the more highly rated Dontae Strickland.
But with Perkins moved to the express back position, and Strickland at least looking to split time between running back and hybrid, the path is there for Fredericks to challenge George Morris for carries as the backup to starter Devante McFarlane. The 5-foot-10, 208 pound back from Long Island has been flying under the radar since he committed, choosing the Orange before he really got a chance to emerge as a big time target for other Power 5 schools.
Fredericks came to camp in sensational shape, having packed on about 15 pounds of muscle prior to arriving, and is already the biggest tailback on the roster (he and Perkins are both 208, while McFarlane is 199, Strickland is 194, and Morris is 192). Kind of amazingly, Fredericks continued to be overshadowed in the state of New York last season despite being named the Gatorade Player of the Year and the Long Island record holder for career rushing touchdowns, having racked up 98 in his four years at Lawrence High.
As a senior last year, Fredericks piled up 2,352 yards with 37 touchdowns, averaging an astonishing 15.4 yards per carry, according to his Cuse.com bio. That’s not a typo – Fredericks gained more than 15 yards nearly every time he touched the ball. With his terrific speed and quickness, along with an already strong, college ready build, it won’t be at all shocking to see Fredericks get his fair share of carries this season. Along with his potential at running back, Fredericks is also being looked at as an option on kick and punt returns.
Chances are, Devante McFarlane, George Morris, and Erv Philips will tally the most carries on the team this season, but don’t be the least bit surprised to see Fredericks quickly ascend the depth chart. You don’t put up numbers like that without talent, and coming in so physically ready to compete at a position with unproven depth, he’s in prime position to make some noise.