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ASU Football: Former Sun Devil Heads Back to South Beach

Former Arizona State Devil Kalen Ballage heads back to the Dolphins.
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The trade sending former ASU running back Kalen Ballage to the New York Jets has reportedly been voided due to Ballage failing his physical.

It was a hamstring injury that’s keeping Ballage from the Big Apple.

Ballage was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Jets last Thursday for a seventh-round draft pick.

The Jets will be keeping that seventh-round pick.

This trade was made after Ballage spent his first two seasons struggling mightily with Miami. The 2018 fourth-round draft pick amassed just 326 rushing yards in his first two seasons, was invisible in the passing game and averaged an abysmal three yards per carry.

The trade looked as if Ballage’s former head coach in his first year with the Dolphins, Adam Gase, wanted him back. Gase is the current head coach of the New York Jets and had already brought one of his former Dolphin running backs to New York in the ageless Frank Gore.

Ballage would have had to be quite low on the depth chart in New York, considering how the Jets running back room is stacking up. The Jets enter 2020 with star running back Le’Veon Bell, Gore, new draft choice La’Mical Perine out of Florida, and Josh Adams. Gase may have been Ballage’s only shot to get his career going, however.

After all, the one good game he’s ever had in his career was with Gase as his head coach; a week 15 blowout loss against the Vikings, where he exploded with 12 carries for 123 yards per touchdown. It has been his only flash.

Also, Perine just suffered an ankle injury that could be serious, so this could have been a prime opportunity for Ballage to attempt to get back on track.

It is expected that the Dolphins release Ballage. Teams always look for depth, but it’s very unlikely that someone will be interested in signing Ballage as an impact player.

Ballage is best known for a successful 2016 junior campaign in Tempe, accumulating over 1,000 all-purpose yards and finding the end zone 14 times on the ground, and once as a pass-catcher. He showcased what he’s capable of in an eight touchdown performance (seven rushing) vs—Texas Tech in 2016.

A somewhat disappointing 2017 had him drop to the fourth round in the NFL draft, and a very disappointing NFL experience has his playing future uncertain.