With five running backs injured for the Buffalo Bills, the team has had to sign some overlooked talent. First, it was Bronson Hill, an undrafted free agent. A couple weeks later, Ricky Seale, another undrafted free agent, was flown in from California. Finally, the Bills signed former Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the newest Bills running backs.
10. Seale and Wood both call Cali homeBoth Seale and Wood were born and went to high school in southern California. Seale is from Escondido, just north of San Diego, while Wood is from Oxnard, just north of Los Angeles.
If Oxnard rings a bell, it's because it's a hotbed for athletic talent. Former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita, wide receiver Charles Dillon and Olympic sprinter Marion Jones all called Oxnard home at one point or another.
9. Hill has played in Buffalo before
Albeit, not for the Bills. Hill went to school at Eastern Michigan, which plays football in the Mid-American Conference—the same conference as the University at Buffalo. On October 5, 2013, Hill and the EMU Eagles fell to the UB Bulls 42-14 in Buffalo.
Hill played pretty well, however; he ran the ball 14 times for 57 yards. Hill had a very solid career at Eastern Michigan. He led the Eagles with six and five rushing touchdowns in the 2012 and 2013 seasons respectively. Still, Hill says he's happy NFL experience to add to his résumé.
"Scouts were mainly going off my college film so now it's good to have some NFL film to get looked at," he said.
8. Wood averaged over five yards per carry at Notre Dame
Wood is no stranger to big time football. While at Notre Dame, Wood played in 37 games, including the 2013 BCS National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide. What's more impressive, however, is that he averaged 5.4 yards per carry over his entire career. During his final season, he averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
Wood is also the only one out of Buffalo's three new running backs that has NFL regular season experience. He ran the ball three times for the Houston Texans in 2013 and saw the field twice for the New England Patriots that same season.
7. Seale was working with special needs children before the Bills called him
Seale is a good guy on and off the field. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in psychology, Seale moved down to San Diego to work with ACES. ACES is an organization that, according to its website, is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by autism.
Seale said that it was "a great job," but that he was excited to get a chance to prove himself in the NFL.
6. Hill racked up plenty of yards for Eastern Michigan
During his junior season, Hill totaled 1,101 rushing yards for the Eagles and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. This total put him ahead of current Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr. and current St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley.
Hill said that his running style is "fast, strong [and] smart" and that his opportunity to start on Thursday night in Cleveland is a "dream come true."
"Two weeks ago I was just sitting on the couch waiting for a call and now I can possibly start an NFL game," he said. "It's what I asked for so now it's up to me to do something with it."
5. Wood was an All-American in high school
In his senior year at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, California, Wood was named to the USA Today All-American team. The accolades and rankings didn't stop there. Wood was selected to play in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas and was rated as the 10th best recruit in the nation coming out of high school by Sporting News.
The honors and rankings were well deserved. Wood rushed for 1,632 yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior season. He also caught eight passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns. The previous season, he had 2,612 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns.
4. Hill was an accomplished sprinter in college
In addition to being a standout on Eastern Michigan's football team, Hill was a solid sprinter on the track team. During the 2012-2013 indoor season, Hill competed in five meets. He ran a personal best 6.95 second 60-meter dash at the Silverstone Invitational, earning a bronze medal.
During high school, Hill ran outdoor track as well. He ran a 10.74 s 100-meter dash and a 22.04 s 200-meter dash in his senior year at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School in Michigan.
3. Seale familiar with Greg Roman
During Seale's freshman year at Stanford, current Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman was a tight ends/offensive tackles coach. Under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Cardinal went 12-1 with an Orange Bowl victory over the Tyrod Taylor-led Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Bills offense is complex to say the least. Having played in a system with Roman, however, Seale has a decided advantage when studying the playbook.
"Some of the plays, some of the play jargon, I already kind of know, which is a good thing," Seale said. "I don't know all of it, so I'm looking forward to learning the rest."
2. Wood is one of the best runners in Notre Dame history
In just three seasons, Wood totaled the seventh most rushing yards in Fighting Irish history with 2,447. This puts him ahead of all-time greats like Jerome Bettis and Reggie Brooks. He's good catching the ball out of the backfield as well. Wood is fourth in career receiving yards among Notre Dame players with at least 2,000 career rushing yards.
Wood found the end zone quite a few times as well. He had 18 total touchdowns during his career at Notre Dame, including nine during the 2011 season.
1. Seale's father is an NFL veteran
They say talent runs in the family. For Seale, that certainly sets him up for success. Seale's father, Sam Seale, played in the NFL for 10 years for the Los Angeles Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams.
As a cornerback, the elder Seale was pretty good. During the height of his career from 1985-1990, he had 11 interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. Over the course of his career, Seale played in 121 games and had 101 interception yards.