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As the NFL Draft comes up, the former Illinois State Redbirds rusher made some major headlines over the last nine months or so.  On the great news side, Coprich was the only FCS running back invited tomcopley the NFL Combine.  This shows that teams want to test his ability to transition into the next level.  However last May, he got arrested and charged for felony pot possession.  His college team allowed him to return and play the 2015 season, so that is a positive sign.  As with most small school prospects, I get limited access of film to view.  Draftbreakdown.com had his Iowa game (which I saw) and I also watched two different highlight reels via youtube.com (one was over 15 minutes long with some all-22 views) to see what all the fuss was about.

RB-Marshaun Coprich, Illinois State 5′ 8″ 207 lbs.

Cons: The felony pot charge on top of being a small school prospect don’t help this young man’s chances.  Will Copley enter the NFL with a strike against him, making his first possible drug offense a higher suspension?  I certainly can’t answer that question.  Similar to fellow small school back Kenneth Dixon, Coprich has 300+ touches in three of his college seasons.  Will the wear and tear be too much for him to overcome?  For the most part, the back played against a weaker level of competition than most prospective players.  However against Big Ten Iowa, the runner had 13 carries for 32 yards, but also managed to catch four passes for 33 yards. Then in the 2015 Division One Football Quarterfinal versus Richmond, he grounded out 14 carries for 40 yards with one touchdown and chipped in three receptions for 37 yards catching a score as well.  Sometimes, Coprich doesn’t sink his hips, running a bit too tall.  There are some reports that he might not time that well in the 40-yard dash. The back also has a bad habit of trapping the ball with his body instead of snaring it cleanly with his hands.

Pros: Coprich has a strong, powerful trunk.  He combines excellent balance with loose hips, good vision and patience, finding his way to exploit cutback lanes with ease. The runner doesn’t need to gear down to change directions, jump cuts away from contact, and is quite dangerous on counter plays.  I love the way he connects spins, hurdles, stutter steps, and shoulder shakes to create space. The former Redbird is very elusive, despite his sometimes sloppy feet, while finding his second and third gear in the open field.

There is a level of physicality to his game with his stiff-arms and ability to break arm tackles with ease while protecting the pigskin.  Coprich is a better outside runner, but still holds his own in goal line and short yardage situations.  He has kickoff return experience, so the runner may find a role to use him in return yardage leagues. The back does well in pass protection, stepping up to attack blitzers, anchors, and uses a good punch.

Overview: There are some huge question marks regarding Coprich: felony drug charges, small school and size along with a huge workload.  Despite all that, this young runner got the only non-FBS running back combine invite.  He is athletic, patient, blessed with good vision, and can change directions without slowing down.  I have him as a top twelve rookie back if he ends up on an NFL team.  Thanks for reading.

You can follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley or at the site @Dynasty_Blitz. 

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