Fullback prospect "The Terminator"


John "The Terminator" Conner, has probably the best nickname in all of the draft. He is projected as a late 6th or 7th round pick: At 5'11", 246lbs, 40 time 4.64

The traditional fullback position may be going the way of the dinosaur in today's NFL, but those teams longing for a throwback will keep tabs on Conner.

The former walk-on emerged as a valuable special teams performer and lead blocker early in his career. As head coach Rich Brooks gained more trust in him, Conner was used more often as a receiver and runner. He bettered his previous career rushing totals as a senior, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns on 31 attempts.

John Conner - Kentucky - 2010 NFL Combine.wmv (via eastbay)

Pro Day: Conner builds on Pro Day numbers (via KentuckyVids)

HIGH SCHOOL: A starting running back for two seasons at Lakota West HS in Cincinnati, Ohio … Rushed for more than 1,000 yards his senior year, helping his team to an 8-3 record and a berth in the state playoffs … Named first-team All-Greater Miami Conference and honorable-mention All-Southwest Ohio … Team captain … Played in the Cincinnati East-West All-Star Game … Coached by Larry Cox … Honor-roll student … Member of the Greater Miami Conference leadership group and the diversity focus group … Received scholarship offers from some smaller schools but decided to walk on at Kentucky.

Career Notes

Solid all-around player … Team's starting fullback … Also plays extensively on special teams … Named the "best blocking back" in the SEC in the Birmingham News 2009 preseason edition … Teammates call him "The Terminator" … "John Conner is one of the best fullbacks in the nation, tailback Alfonso Smith says. "I feel very comfortable running behind him, like I'm not going to be touched." … A capable running threat and a reliable pass catcher … Scored the first time he touched the ball in college, hauling in a 17-yard pass for a touchdown against Texas State in 2006 … Has seen action in 42 games, starting 15.

2009 Season

The former walk-on played in a school record 54 games for the Wildcats and is not only a devastating lead blocker, he's an underrated runner and receiver.

2008 Season

Played in all 13 games, starting 11 when UK opened with a fullback in the lineup … Set career highs with seven rushes for 26 yards vs. Georgia … Also set career bests with three catches for 32 yards vs. Western Kentucky … Made a key play in the victory in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl … He appeared to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-and-one play, but a determined second and third effort got the necessary yard, eventually leading to a Kentucky field goal.

2007 Season

Played in all 13 games, featuring four starts … Touched the ball 13 times, four of them going for touchdowns … Scored his first two career rushing touchdowns on five- and 16-yard plays against Kent State … Hauled in TD receptions against Louisville and Florida Atlantic … Made two tackles in kick coverage.

2006 Season

A very good lead blocker who split time with Terrell Bankhead and Maurice Grinter at fullback … Played in all 13 games, starting the first three … Scored on his first collegiate touch, hauling in a 17-yard pass for a touchdown against Texas State.

2005 Season

Played in the first three games on special teams before sustaining a season-ending injury … Can get a medical hardship and retain the year of eligibility.

Inside: Bullish runner who doesn't waste time looking for the big play. Good lower leg drive and forward body lean to get the tough yards. Runs with good pad level and keeps his feet driving to generate as much yardage as possible. Good ball security. Keeps both arms locked around the ball. Has enough wiggle to surprise the unsuspecting defender and can gain yardage in chunks.

Outside: Typical fullback. Lacks the speed to beat linebackers to the edge and has only marginal agility to elude.

Breaking tackles: Tough back to bring down as he keeps his feet moving and runs with good pad level. Doesn't offer much more than the helmet, shoulder and knees pads for the defender to target. A determined runner who will become a coach and fan favorite due to his second- and third-effort runs.

Blocking: Old-school traditional lead blocker willing to sell out to knock the linebacker out of the hole. Good size, explosiveness and accuracy to clear the way. Athletic enough to adjust in the open field to hit the moving target. Keeps his head on a swivel in pass protection and blocks inside-out. Aggressive in pass protection. Will take on the bigger man and holds up surprisingly well due to his accurate hand placement, use of leverage and determination. Accurate, reliable cut-blocker.

Receiving: Soft, reliable hands. Will allow the ball to get into his pads, but is quick to secure the pass. Shows the ability to extend his arms and pluck the ball out of the air. Appears to have enough athleticism to handle more complicated routes, but was typically used only on short to intermediate dump passes and the occasional screen.

Intangibles: A former walk-on who is well respected by coaches, peers and fans for his physicality, toughness and consistency. Played in a school-record 54 games over his career. Team captain. Also plays extensively on special teams. Nicknamed "The Terminator" by his teammates. 

He kind of reminds me of Hokie Gajan, although you could time Hokie in the 40 with a sundial. And I am sure he dances better :)

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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