Could running back Bruce Garrett contribute immediately in BYU football’s backfield?
Bruce Garrett dominated his high school competition, but will that play translate at the collegiate level?
PROVO — BYU football 2020 signee Bruce Garrett’s resume doesn’t boast a lot of offers and lofty national evaluations, but it does include a lot of on-the-field production.
Garrett prepped at Pleasant Grove High in Texas, and led his team to a state championship in the 4A Division II classification. He rushed for 2,004 yards and 19 touchdowns, earning all-state honors, and looks to translate that production to the collegiate level.
So what can fans expect from the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back whose reported offers included just BYU and Illinois State? We caught up with former BYU cornerback Ben Criddle to break down Garrett’s film and assess what type of production can be expected during his first season at BYU and thereafter.
Criddle is also the host of Cougar Sports with Ben Criddle on espn960.
What is your overall impression of Bruce Garrett?
“You love the production, and while he plays at a relatively low level, he still dominates that level, which you’d expect.
“He’s stout and he has a pretty good low center of gravity and he consistently shows the ability to run away from tacklers. So his reported 4.52 40 time may not be that far off, and that’s really good speed for a running back.
“He catches the ball out of the backfield well and he has a little boost whenever he gets into the open field to pull away, which you need to have when you’re playing running back at his size.” — Ben Criddle, on Bruce Garrett
“He’s the best athlete on the field in just about all the clips you watch, which he needs to be considering the level he played at in high school. He dominates and whenever he has the football he clearly has the competitive advantage of whoever is taking him on.
“He catches the ball out of the backfield well and he has a little boost whenever he gets into the open field to pull away, which you need to have when you’re playing running back at his size.”
What former BYU player does he remind you of?
“JJ Di Luigi is the easy comparison, but it’s the right one. JJ was a very underrated player at BYU who saw good production after dominating low-level high school football, much like Bruce did.
“Body-type-wise he’s also similar to JJ, and JJ was a very productive back for BYU during his time, which Bruce would do well to emulate. It took a while for JJ to become a top contributor and that could very well be the same with Garrett.”
What are the expectations for his first season?
“It’s hard for me to see him as someone who can warrant a lot of playing time his first season, to be honest, at least at running back. I like him as a scout team player who needs to focus on giving the defense great looks, with the hope of contributing later on during the season.
“The size just isn’t there, at least yet, to make an immediate impact at running back. I do like him as a possibility returning kicks, though, and I think maybe he could develop into a Jackson McChesney-type role later in the year. He runs hard, and I love that about him.
“I don’t think coaches recruited him as a guy they were looking at to contribute immediately, but as a guy with a lot of upside who could develop into a big contributor later in his career.”