ORLANDO, Fla. – Since inking his name as Scott Frost’s first signee, Adrian Killins has become the prototypical blueprint for what the UCFast offense can offer to a young and talented skill player. He has developed into one of college football’s most explosive home-run threats, already setting and then breaking his own record of longest touchdowns from scrimmage in UCF history.
He has broken runs of 96 and 79 yards this season, matching the excitement generated from an 86-yard run his freshman year against No. 2 Michigan and a 100-yard kick return on the road against East Carolina.
Killins, a local product out of Mainland Highschool in Daytona, drew interest from the Oregon transplant with astronomical high school track numbers.
“I saw a guy a lot like I coached out west,” said Head Coach Scott Frost. “There’s not very many people in the country that run the 200 time that he did, but he was also a good football player. Our first signee was one of our best.”
“He came to us pretty fast to begin with, he’s a very ‘twitchy’ fast kid,” recalled UCF Director of Sports Performance Zach Duval. “One of the things that we really put emphasis on was his strength. Obviously, you don’t ever see a kid who is really fast that is not equally strong.”
Before Duval and his crew could get his hands on Killins the athletic trainers had to fine-tune his body. Core control, stability and balance were the first things that Killins worked on as a freshman.
“Picture a Ferrari going two hundred miles an hour down the track. Any little instability – if your front tire is down two PSI, it’s going to cause problems for you,” visualized Duval.
“Speed magnifies a lot of issues. They did a great job of getting him symmetrical, balanced front, right, left, back and increasing strength in that stability.”
“He is very unique,” explained UCF’s guru of growth. “I’ve never been around someone, not that small, but he’s definitely… his frame is not what you would normally see. He’s kind of built differently. That is new, I’ve never been around a guy like that. I’ve been around a lot of fast guys that were also big and that’s obviously what we’re trying to do with him. with all of our athletes the goal is to increase the size of their engine because a bigger engine creates more torque, more torque creates more velocity, more velocity creates more speed.”
“Twenty-one years doing this job, seeing what the majority of freshmen come in and do compared to him, he’s just a different class.”
“God blessed him with some natural ability,” Duval continued.
“For a guy his size to be able to squat 500 pounds? That’s pretty impressive, but then again, when you watch him run, it makes sense, to be able to move your body that quickly with as much velocity as he has – he has to be able to stabilize each step and then explode off of each foot.”
“Running is like plyometrics, you’ve got to have a lot of strength and power to do that. After last season he had some instability stuff from just what he does and that’s where the athletic training staff came into place.”
Duval insists that Killins’ work ethic, not his speed, will be the most determinant factor the running back’s rise to the forefront of highlight reels around the country.
“He’s not normal across the board, but how he approaches the day is a professional approach,” Duval boasts. “You don’t see that a lot with guys his age. He’s got a mindset about it, he doesn’t come in here and screw around, he doesn’t screw around in the training room and he has bought into Coach Frost’s system.”
“I know he’s fast and everyone likes to talk about that, but how he approaches things and his mental ability to dial in and work hard, that’s probably the best part about him.”
Killins leads UCF with 413 rushing yards this season and has five scores, both surpassing his freshman totals. During that first season with UCF he was banged up in the second half, putting together just 92 rushing yards and 109 receiving yards for the remainder of the season after the ECU game.
The speedy back has sung the praise of the strength and conditioning staff around him, insisting that the program has allowed him to stay on the field as a sophomore. To hear the other side of things though, Killins’ work ethic is the foundation for which a reputation for excitement has been built.
The fastest player in college football didn’t get his title on talent alone. His chance at greatness has clarified in Frost’s system, but the work put in behind the scenes will let Killins keep breaking the tape on Saturdays.