Rookie Profile: RB Isaiah Pead

Posted May 8, 2012

Name: Isaiah D’Vaughn Pead

Position: Running Back

Number: 24

College: Cincinnati

From: Columbus, Ohio

Height: 5’10

Weight: 193 pounds

High School Career: Star tailback and defensive back at Eastmoor Academy where he became one of the most prolific performers in school history as he set the school’s rushing record and earned the state’s Division II Player of the Year Award in 2007…Rushed for 2,204 yards and scored 39 touchdowns in a dominant senior campaign…Finished his prep career with 4,443 rushing yards and 63 touchdowns on his way to earning a scholarship to Cincinnati…Also was an accomplished sprinter, capturing the Division II state title in the 400-meter dash.

College Career: Earned playing time as a freshman, working mostly as the Bearcats’ third back before becoming a more regular contributor as a sophomore…Earned the starting job for good as a junior and never looked back…As a junior in 2010, he was named second team All Big East Conference as he posted 1,029 rushing yards with six touchdowns and chipped in 26 catches for another 190 yards and a score…In 2011, he earned All Big East first team honors and was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year as he posted 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground and 39 catches for 319 yards and three more scores…Those efforts earned Pead a spot in the Senior Bowl where he exploded on to the scene in his first chance to play in a pro style offense…In Mobile, Pead rushed for 31 yards on eight carries but his versatility including two punt returns for 98 yards, a Senior Bowl record for punt return yardage.

Need to Know: In football-crazed Ohio, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle but people at Eastmoor Academy in Pead’s hometown of Columbus won’t soon forget the electric running back. That’s because Pead holds the school’s all time rushing record, an accomplishment that doesn’t seem too far out of the norm on the surface. But on further inspection, Pead’s records hold considerable weight bearing in mind that the previous record holder was one Archie Griffin. The two-time Heisman Trophy winning Griffin held those records for decades before Pead came along.

He Said It:

“My biggest strength I would probably say is my speed and vision and the type of mentality all in one. I couldn’t really choose either one but one that makes me underestimated is maybe my strength. I’m a small guy but I have good strength in me. In the weight room, I’m always one of the top guys of the program with the most weight so I’d say that’s a strength.” – Pead on what he brings to the table and being overlooked because of his size.

They Said It:

“We’ve got a running back that’s going to help us next year. He’s a change of pace of Steven (Jackson) and can return.” – GM Les Snead on what is expected of Pead

“Isaiah had a great senior year and obviously was the MVP of the Senior Bowl. Isaiah has got great change of direction quickness, vision, a jump cut runner. He’s got acceleration; he’s got hands out of the backfield. He’s just a great change of pace runner that we need here right now for Steven. He’s a smart young man. We had him in for the 30 visit. He had no problems whatsoever grasping concepts of offense, so he’ll be able to help us.” – Coach Jeff Fisher on what made Pead so appealing in the draft.

Outlook: With Jackson entrenched as the starter, Pead won’t be in the opening day lineup but he does project as an important cog in the offense right away. He’ll get opportunities on third down and to spell Jackson when he needs a breather. Perhaps as important, he’ll get the opportunity to handle return duties right away and be expected to give the Rams some explosive plays in his first season.