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Season in Review: Gerrid Doaks

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2018 starting running back.

Temple v Cincinnati Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 513 rushing yards
  • 2 rushing touchdowns
  • 5.9 yards per carry
  • 14 receptions
  • 135 yards
  • 1 receiving touchdown
  • 648 yards from scrimmage

Going from scout team hero to the starting lineup is not an easy path, but its one that Gerrid Doaks knows well. It’s also a trail he blazed while breaking tackles and picking up yards at a better pace than any running back for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2017.

After winning UC’s co-offensive scout team player of the year award in 2016 when he was redshirting, Doaks came into training camp to compete for the backup running back gig behind Mike Boone. By year’s end it was Doaks who was the most productive back of anyone on the roster. He got there despite missing a few games due to injury, finishing with 513 rushing yards and two scores on 87 carries across nine contests. He also caught 14 passes for 135 yards and an additional score, giving him 648 yards from scrimmage, which trailed only Kahlil Lewis (709) among all Bearcats.

By reaching 500 yards, Doaks became the first freshman (redshirt or otherwise) since Boone in 2014 to reach the mark. While he didn’t match Boone’s touchdown total, he still proved that his work on the scout team was no fluke or symptom of circumstance. It’s unfortunate that he was hampered by injury, or otherwise the already potential-loaded backfield would have that much more.

The Best of the Best

Sept. 16 at Miami (Ohio)

In just his second game with a carry, Doaks pounded out 71 yards on 17 attempts. He led all rushers in the game, outpacing teammate Michael Warren II (51 yards) and Miami’s Kenny Young (57 yards).

Sept. 30 vs. Marshall

Although he had more yards in the previous week against Navy, Doaks averaged 5.5 yards per carry this game and scored his second career touchdown.

Oct. 21 vs. SMU

He only got nine carries against the Mustangs but that was enough to produce 91 yards. He also had 23 receiving yards.

Nov. 4 at Tulane

Can you even imagine how this game would have gone without Doaks? It certainly wouldn’t have ended with UC on top. Doaks set a career-high in rushing yards (149) while adding 23 through the air. His 172 yards from scrimmage made up roughly 38 percent of UC’s entire offensive production.

For Next Year

Getting healthy is obviously the biggest concern for Doaks, who can really pound the rock when he’s 100 percent. With Boone gone, the starting job is open, but Doaks will certainly have the best chance to take over, although Warren II will give him a run for his money (pun unintended). However, after the year the 6’0”, 222 pound back from Indianapolis had as a backup — even if that was a nominal title — the Bearcats would be foolish not to make Doaks a big part of the offense.