Players

Kory Sheets  

Height: 5-11   Weight: 208   Age: 34

Born: 3/31/1985 Manchester , CT

College: Purdue

Experience: Season

CAR

1

YDS

5

AVG

5.0

TDS

0

Draft 2009

Pick Analysis: One of the few bright spots during head coach Joe Tiller's trying and final season at the helm, Sheets capitalized on Jaycen Taylor's injury to handle the brunt of the rushing load for the first time in his career as a senior. Even though he led the team in rushing three consecutive seasons, the talented tailback was always part of the team's running back formation his first three campaigns.

The versatile athlete closed out his career second on the school's record lists with 664 rushing attempts for 3,341 yards, 4,944 all-purpose yards and 324 points scored. He also established Purdue career marks with 48 rushing touchdowns and 54 overall scores, as his 54 total touchdowns tied Tyrone Wheatley of Michigan (1991-94) for fifth place in Big Ten Conference history. His nine 100-yard rushing efforts were good for fourth in Purdue annals.

Sheets was named state Player of the Year by Hartford Courant at Bloomfield High School, where he was also an All-Conference selection as a senior after rushing for 2,588 yards and 41 touchdowns. He had five games with at least 250 yards rushing and amassed 400 yards on 19 carries with four touchdowns in three quarters of action in the state semifinal game. He led the team to the state championship that year, as he was ranked as the 23rd-best all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com.

As a junior, Sheets totaled 812 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. He also competed as a defensive back, returning six interceptions for touchdowns during his career. In addition to football, he also participated in track and field, earning All-State recognition.

Sheets redshirted in 2004 at Purdue. He earned Freshman All-American honorable mention from The Sporting News the following season. In 11 2005 games, he placed second on the team with 571 yards on 104 carries (5.5 avg). His 10 rushing touchdowns tied for the team lead and rank 13th on the school's single-season record list. He also gained 123 yards on 13 catches and averaged 18.2 yards on four kickoff returns, as he scored again on a blocked punt return for 13 yards vs. Akron.

Named the Connecticut Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation in 2006, Sheets paced the Boilermakers with 158 rushes for 780 yards (4.9 avg) and 11 touchdowns in 14 contests. He pulled down 28 balls for 213 yards and gained 422 yards on 19 kickoff returns (22.2 avg), finishing with 1,423 all-purpose yards, the 13th-best total on the school's annual record chart.

Sheets started the last nine games of a 13-game 2007 schedule, leading the team again with 859 yards on 168 attempts (5.1 avg) that included 11 touchdowns. He gained 216 yards and two more scores on 30 receptions (7.2 avg), scoring 78 points while amassing 1,089 all-purpose yards.

However, the honeymoon between Sheets and his head coach came to an end during his junior year. The junior tailback was benched on several occasions due to ball security issues. After his fumble vs. Michigan led to a Wolverines touchdown, he was relegated to the bench for the final three quarters. Taylor took the bulk of the carries until getting hurt later in the year, giving Sheets an opportunity to redeem himself.

Sheets earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention as a senior, as he led the team for the third time with a career-high 1,131 yards and a school single-season record 16 touchdowns on 234 carries (4.8 avg). He finished fourth on the squad with 37 catches for 253 yards (6.8 avg), including a score, as he also averaged 18.5 yards on 14 kickoff returns. He ranked fifth in the league with 136.92 all-purpose yards per game.

With those numbers, you would think that Sheets would have been satisfied with his senior season, but it was a frustrating one, as the losses mounted. The tailback began voicing his concerns to the media, drawing the angst of the coaching staff. "If they don't have consistency at quarterback, and I'm being real consistent, I think they have to start looking at me for some answers and giving me the ball and let me carry the team, instead of keep putting it in (QB Curtis) Painter's hands."

Sheets exploded for 168 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-26 loss to Northwestern. However, after a four-game losing streak Sheets attacked Painter in the press. "If they want to ask more of me, they just have to put the ball in my hands a little bit more, and they're going to get a lot more out of me," Sheets said. "They put the ball in my hands, I feel we'll be a lot more successful." Sheets' outburst forced Tiller to ban his running back from meeting with the press the rest of the season.