Kent State senior tailback Dri Archer is on NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of the five most explosive players in the nation. Archer also is on an even more exclusive list: He is the only player in the nation with his own comic strip.
As part of Kent State's long-shot Heisman campaign for Archer, alumnus Chuck Ayers -- originator of the nationally syndicated Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft comic strips -- created a comic strip for the player. The strip is available at @Dri4Heisman.
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The second strip in the series will be released Aug. 21. The first game preview strip will post Aug. 28, then continue on Wednesdays throughout the season.
Archer (5-feet-8, 175 pounds) rushed for 1,429 yards and 16 TDs last season. He also had 39 receptions for 561 yards and four scores. A new coaching staff plans to use him even more in the slot this fall.
Archer has elite speed and elusiveness (he led the nation with 10 runs of 40-plus yards last season, as per cfbstats.com), and also is a dangerous kick returner (three TDs on just 16 returns last season).
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While his size precludes him from being an every-down back -- he averaged just 11.3 carries per game last fall -- his versatility, explosiveness and flat-out speed make him an intriguing pro prospect. His speed is legit: As a high school senior in the biggest classification in Florida, Archer finished second in the state track meet in the 100 meters -- one spot ahead of Denard Robinson; the winner in state-record time was Dentarius Locke, now one of the nation's top college sprinters at Florida State.
Archer played in the same backfield at Venice (Fla.) High as Florida H-back Trey Burton, and he shares carries at Kent State with Trayion Durham. Archer and Durham are the nation's leading returning rushing tandem; they combined for 2,745 yards and 30 touchdowns last season.
Archer will get a chance to prove his worth Sept. 14 at LSU and Sept. 21 at Penn State.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.