Akrum Wadley: Bright Lights, Iowa City

Dec 5, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) stiff arms Michigan State Spartans defensive back Demetrious Cox (7) during the first half in the Big Ten Conference football championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley drew little attention out of high school with his 5-foot-11,180-pound frame.

Wadley had a passion for the game, though and would not be denied.

In the winter 2015/16 issue of Coach & Player Magazine, Shelby Hilliard highlights his overlooked prowess on the field.

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“In what can only be described as freakish athletic ability,” Hilliard writes, “the New Jersey native leaped over not one, but two players, landing squarely in bounds before picking up a few more yards on the play.”

An injured backfield in November 2014 gave Wadley the chance to play against Northwestern. He did much to impress, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors with 15 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown.

“The experience was priceless,” Wadley said.

Seeing that size doesn’t necessarily equate to football talent, coaches increased his role in 2015. He scored seven touchdowns this past season and averaged 6 yards per carry on 83 carries, not bad for a small-time kid with big dreams.

Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) celebrates after making a stip on special teams during the second half of their game Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 at Kinnick Stadium. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)
Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) celebrates after making a stip on special teams during the second half of their game Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 at Kinnick Stadium. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

“Before I graduate, I would like to win the Doak Walker award,” Wadley said.

Read the full story and more in the winter 2015/16 Issue of Coach and Player Magazine available in both digital and print form here.

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