In our latest look at college football recruits, we check in on Cody Paul, who rose to YouTube fame in 2007 when he was dubbed the “White Reggie Bush.” – Anthony Olivieri
The hype machine started early for Paul, who made a habit of leaving opposing Pop Warner youngsters slumped on the turf after ankle-breaking moves.
Just take a look at the video evidence. But being a YouTube sensation before hitting puberty has its perils, including the creation of unrealistic expectations for a player so young.
So, where is Paul now?
He’s at Los Alamitos High School in Southern California, an annual football power, where he is a receiver and running back.
Now a rising senior, Paul isn’t the center of attention anymore but remains an effective play maker. As a junior, Paul scored eight touchdowns for Los Alamitos.
There are similarities to his younger days – Paul’s best attributes are his speed and shiftiness, which allow him to be a dangerous player in space and show off his big-play potential. It’s just that those big plays don’t come as often for the 5′ 6″, 155-pound Paul, whose size is an issue – at least, in terms of his future in big-time college football.
After his sensation spread on the Internet, Paul was rumored to have fielded a scholarship offer from USC, but those whispers were unfounded. Now, according to many of the top recruiting sites, Paul isn’t on many schools’ radars.
That could all change after Paul’s senior year, when he no doubt hopes to carry the full load in the backfield for Los Alamitos. As a junior, he gained 652 yards and averaged 6.8 yards a carry.
But he wasn’t used as the primary running back, allowing Los Alamitos to move him around the formation and even benefit from his speed on special teams. Paul had six rushing TDs, one receiving and one kick return for a score.
Remind you of anyone? No, not Reggie – but Danny, as in Woodhead, the pint-sized New England Patriots running back who made it to the NFL via Division II Chadron State.
At a generous listing of 5’7”, Woodhead went undrafted in 2008 before finally flourishing with the Patriots last fall. Paul, pending a growth spurt, may face the same obscure college football future despite the lofty expectations surrounding him as a child. Before Woodhead supporters go bonkers, it is obvious Paul has yet to remotely resemble Woodhead’s record-breaking ways in high school. But similarities exist nonetheless.
So, could Paul go from being the White Reggie Bush to the Next Danny Woodhead? Sure, it’s a stretch. But let the hype begin.