It only took us five days to get one of our Akron Zips players to appear on the list! That would be good if we were not counting backwards...
Jawon Chisholm, Akron's best returning player according to Hustle Belt voters, led his team in rushing yards last year. He averaged 86.6 yards a game, which was good for ninth best in the Mid-American Conference. Now a redshirt junior, Chisholm has not had much (any) result-wise success as a Zip but has been a reliable constant in the backfield.
It is still a bit unclear what Terry Bowden has in store for Chisholm. It is now well known that Akron is aiming to be a pass-happy team. Chisholm is solid at catching balls out of the backfield, but his yards after catch could use some work. He is built as though you would expect to be able to throw a lot of screens his way, but it just did not occur the first year.
If the program can turn that around, and give Chisholm a chance to make plays in space, he will run for days with his speed. It's all about getting him the ball.
Last season he split carries with Conor Hundley. The two made a good duo. Chisholm attempts to work his way through holes and come up with big plays. Hundley is focused on running over defensive linemen. The two would be a pair if the offensive line, which has been suspect since I walked onto campus in 2010, could continue to improve (albeit slowly).
We Akron fans only hope to see a little improvement this year. We are only looking for a little glimmer that the drought is almost over. Chisholm will play a part in that if it is to be done.