Kent State all-purpose back Dri Archer now has the Heisman Trophy campaign first-year head coach Paul Haynes pitched back in January.
Haynes told Allen Moff of The Record-Courier nearly seven months ago:
“We’re gonna pitch him for the Heisman (Trophy) right from the start, and we’re gonna find creative ways to make sure he touches the ball.”
KSU athletics followed through with its Dri4Heisman campaign, officially launched on Wednesday.
“When you look at how electric he is and the plays that he made, he’s a natural fit,” Haynes said, per the university’s official statement. “He’s one of those players where every time he touches the ball he has a chance to make a big play, and I think people are really going to legitimately look at him as a Heisman candidate.”
Variations of the word “electric” have frequently been used to describe Archer, and with good reason. Those who saw him perform last year recognize that, with all due respect to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Archer has become one of the most electrifying players in the nation.
Archer did everything for the 11-win Golden Flashes. He was an All-American returner, averaging nearly 35 yards per attempt and taking three back to the house. Archer was also integral in the Kent State passing game, hauling in 39 receptions for 561 yards and four scores.
He’s a Swiss Army knife-style player. Rather than allowing his sleight, 5-foot-8/175-pound frame be a liability, Archer has made it an asset in the same vein as collegiate counterparts Venric Mark and De’Anthony Thomas, as well as first round NFL draft pick Tavon Austin.
But perhaps most impressive is that Archer rushed for 1429 yards on just 159 attempts — that’s an absurd nine yards per carry. Archer told the “Bull & Fox” radio show that his goal in 2013 is an astounding 2,500 yards, nearly 600 more than last season’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey.
He shared carries with bruising back Trayion Durham, who returns for 2013. Durham handled the bulk of the rushing responsibilities with 276 carries. His presence should actually give Archer more opportunities to break loose against opposing defenses, and allows Haynes to employ some of those “creative” methods of putting the ball in Archer’s hands.
One such creative play call Darrell Hazell employed was a red zone pass play, which Archer converted into touchdown. That gave him scores four different ways on the year. In 2013, he could match the milestone only former Clemson star C.J. Spiller has reached with touchdowns via five different methods.
“Coming from a small school, I don’t get a lot of publicity,” Archer told Bull & Fox.
Dri4Heisman is about commanding some of that attention. Included is a comic strip called “The Archer.” If this results in Dri taking on the nickname “Danger Zone,” just give him the trophy now.