Texas A&M Football: Why Isaiah Spiller didn’t run the 40-yard dash

Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football team had a few participants in the NFL Draft Combine. While some of these players could be first-round picks, one might be the highest-profile prospect among all of them. That player is Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M’s starting runningback from the past three seasons.

The Aggie back was elite for all three seasons, accumulating at least 946 yards individually each year. The former Aggie ball carrier also stacked up 25 touchdowns on the ground, cementing himself as a draft prospect as early as his freshman year.

During the combine, however, Spiller didn’t put it all on display. The 20-year old did elect to participate in the vertical jump (30 inches) and the broad jump (9 feet, 6 inches), putting up respectable numbers in each category.

Why didn’t Texas A&M football RB Isaiah Spiller run the 40-yard dash?

There has already been some controversy drawn over the fact that Spiller declined to do a few combine workouts. Specifically, NFL Draft analyst Chad Reuter criticized the Aggie back, stating that “Spiller’s game is built on speed and agility, but he chose not to run the 40-yard dash and only achieved average test results (30-inch vertical, 9-foot-6 broad jump).”

In my opinion, this analysis does not make sense for Spiller, who has never been known to have breakaway speed.

Don’t get me wrong — the former Aggie RB was quick and able to outrun most defenders. That said, I’m not sure you’ll find anybody who will mistake him for Tyreek Hill or Jonathan Taylor. His strengths primarily lie in his vision and cutback ability, two things that aren’t extremely measurable in a combine setting.

That said, it doesn’t matter in the first place. Spiller didn’t “choose not to run the 40-yard dash,” as stated by Reuter. Instead, the NFL runningback prospect was nursing an abdominal injury, as reported by Adam Schefter.

As mentioned, Spiller already isn’t a player with elite speed, so what would he gain from running a hobbled 40-yard dash? It’s a rhetorical question — the answer is a simple “nothing.”

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Spiller will still have an opportunity to run a 40-yard dash during his pro day in a couple of months. At that point in time, he’ll be presumably healthy.