Aaron Benson will likely be one of the first Texas offers at the Junior Days in February. The…
Scout's Take: 2010 RB Ben Malena
BEN MALENA High School: Cedar Hill High School Height: 5-10 Weight: 185 STRENGTHS Downhill Runner: Malena is a downhill running back that likes to run behind his pads. Like most downhill running backs, Malena tends to make one move and go. He doesn't over do the play by making pointless moves. If given a crease, he will run through it. However, do not confuse him for a bruiser because he is not. He is more of a drift-away from a defender than a run-through a defender type of running back. Change of Direction/Cut Back Ability: Atypical of downhill runners, Malena has excellent cutback ability. Because he is low to the ground (short height) he possesses excellent balance and body control; both attributes are needed for changing direction. Malena is not a go against the grain running back but he has it in his repertoire and his certainly above average at doing so. Vision/Instincts: Ben Malena is a natural running back. He sees cut back lanes, tiny creases, and rallying defenders. He is effective, without great top end speed, because of his vision and instincts; he knows how he should run to elude defenders - cut back, drift, burst straight, etc... Balance: Malena has excellent balance. He can take a hit and if he is not wrapped up, he will stay on his feet. Built like a fire plug, Malena has a low center of gravity with excellent leg drive. Defenders that attack him high without runner their feet, will get carried a few extra yards before bringing him down. Blocking: Malena ups his stock because he is good in the passing game. Though he is not the biggest back, Malena is not timid in pass protection. He will hang in there and stick his nose into pass rushing DEs. Hands: Malena is no slot WR but he has good enough hands to naturally catch swing passes, screens, and short choice routes. He doesn't fight the football. WEAKNESSES Breakaway Speed: Malena is "forty speed fast" however, on film and in person, he doesn't appear to out run defenders. On long runs, he gets reeled in. Malena doesn't have the extra gear. Holding On To The Football: Has a tendency to put the ball on the ground. I am not sure of the exact number of times he has fumbled but in the games that I have watched, he put the ball on the carpet at least once in each game. Needs to work on ball security. With added strength and an emphasis on holding the ball correctly, he should better his ball skills. OVERALL Using a combination of vision, elusiveness, and balance, Malena is rarely tackled by one defender. He makes people miss and knows how not to take unnecessary hits. Must work on top end speed and holding onto the football.
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