LSU landed one of Louisiana’s top overall prospects when TreVonte’ Citizen committed to the Tigers earlier this week. Here’s a look at his skills and how he could make an impact in Baton Rouge.
If there’s any position on the football field that a true freshman can make an impact, it’s running back. This position requires natural athleticism and instinct as much if not more than any other position on the gridiron. Considering the overall skills of LSU’s latest commitment, there’s ample opportunity for him to make a splash with the Purple and Gold in 2022.
Vitals: 6’0”, 215-pounds
School: Lake Charles (La.) Lake Charles Prep
Recruiting: Committed to LSU
Frame: A powerful build in the mold of a traditional I-formation tailback from the early 1980s, Citizen provides powerful upper legs and hips, a streamlined upper torso but yet possessing defined muscle and a balanced overall build to his body. If anything, Citizen simply needs to further develop his body in very specific manners, but he’s already college running back size before entering his senior season of high school football.
Three Skills Define Citizen’s Style of Play
With the skills to read blocks and make sharp cuts, the speed to go the distance, and the durability to be an every-down running back, Citizen is an excellent running back designed to play in any era of college football. Let’s start with his inside running abilities.
He’s not afraid of contact, yet still makes several players miss within the first and second levels of the defense. When Citizen runs between the tackles, he does not waste time getting up to speed if there’s an immediate hole to run through. He will burst towards the hole and allow his instincts to dictate what happens next. More importantly, Citizen will be patient to wait for his blocks to develop if there is no immediate hole to run through.
Whether taking a jump cut to find another lane to gain yards, or simply slowing down his pace, Citizen will change up what was originally needed to make a play. Once Citizen reaches the linebacker level (second level), that’s when his speed can really make an impact.
With one of the smoothest gates anyone will see, Citizen strides effortlessly as he blows by linebackers and safeties alike. The same result was witnessed from his junior film when he needed to make a cut before exploding forward. He will immediately go back into high gear thereafter. He’s also a player that can take the physical contact of being an SEC running back.
Not many running backs are 215-pounds and possess Citizen’s skills. Most of those running backs with speed and moves come in at 180 or 190-pounds, tops. Citizen’s size will aid him in cracking the LSU depth chart and do so quickly because he’s more likely to be durable than most true freshmen.
Currently, LSU does not have a true bell cow running back, but it is a deep group of running backs. With as much talent as any of the current LSU ball carriers, there’s no reason not to believe Citizen will see playing time during his freshman season.
LSU still wants to run the football despite the passing game’s success over the course of the past two seasons. A balanced attack will aid LSU when facing top-notch competition like Texas A&M, Alabama and Florida in particular. If Citizen shows the ability to be a good pass protector (an absolute must in today’s era of football), then he also increases his odds of significant playing time even more. That also leads to another passing game question.
How will the Tigers incorporate Citizen into the screen game, as well as use him in the slot or out wide like a wide receiver?
That question will need to be answered during the fall camp of his freshman year. The LSU coaches will absolutely want to see those skills live in combination with CItizen understanding checks, blitz pickup, and ball security measures. That’s the life of a freshman running back in the SEC.
Still, there simply has to be a way to place this young man on the field and get him the football beyond handing it to him. It’s up to the LSU coaches to find ways to enhance the skills of players like Citizen, and if they do so there’s a good chance he will score a few touchdowns during his freshman season.
Citizen is one of Louisiana’s best overall 2022 prospects, and he’s headed to play for LSU. The Tigers landed a well-balanced running back recruit with vision, patience, speed and a durable frame to be an every-down running back.
Now the LSU coaching staff just needs to find ways to bring this young talent along as quickly as possible so that he adapts to all the nuances of the playbook and the offensive overall. Once that happens, Citizen can be one of the SEC’s most dynamic running backs from the freshman class.