Ivory’ played his first 3 years of college football at Washington State where injuries only allowed him to play in just 22 games with 91 rushes for 534 yards and 4 touchdowns.
He was dismissed from the team after his junior year for violating team rules, essentially ending his time at Washington State.
In 2009 he transferred to tiny Tiffin University where head coach Dave Walkosky, formally of Washington State, was the assistant head coach.
During his senior year at Tiffin Ivory rushed for 223 yards on 39 carries in 5 games before once again suffering another season ending injury.
Walkosky tried to obtain a red shirt medical exemption so Ivory could play one more year but was unsuccessful.
Coach Walkosky believed that Ivory was capable of being a number one back in the NFL and contacted several scouts, including the New Orleans Saints, who agreed visit Tiffin to take a look at Ivory prior to the draft.
Ivory was hoping to be the first player ever taken in the NFL draft from Tiffin but given his off field issues at Washington State unfortunately went undrafted.
However the Saints had seen enough during their visit to offer Ivory a rookie free agent contract after the draft in May 2010, which meant that he was going to have go into training camp and prove that he could complete at the highest level.
Chris Ivory, a 22 year old running back out of Tiffin university, arrived in New Orleans with all of the ability and mentality to play in this NFL, agreed and signed his rookie contract.
He made a immediate impression on the coaches during training camp that carried over to the preseason games. The impression was good enough for him to earn a spot on the Saints 53-man roster.
No one could have predicted that Ivory would be thrust into a starring role so soon but after the Saints lost their starting tandem of running backs in Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush early in the season the team had no choice but to go with the unproven rookie.
In week six Ivory entered the game as the starter against Tampa Bay where he showcased the kind of back he can be rushing for 158 yards on just 15 carries bowling over defenders with punishing hits.
That performance earned him Pepsi NFL Rookie of the week and FED-EX Ground player of the week honors.
He had another outstanding game against the Seattle Seahawks where he rushed for 99 yards on 23 carries, afterwards Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called him a “freaking stud”.
After all of the promise that he showed duing the year by leading the Saints in rushing yards (716), rushing touchdowns (5) and a whopping yards per carry average (5.2), he finished the year on injured reserve with a foot injury, once again unable to stay healthy.
The irony of this story is that the Saints need a stable of running backs that can stay healthy for the entire season, Chris Ivory is an outstanding running back and shows great promise, but injury may always be a concern considering his physical running style.
The reason for his injury plagued career is because of his punishing running style, if you watch film on Ivory he is trying to run defenders over all of the time and never shy’s way from contact with defenders.
The Saints need to polish Ivory’s running skills by working with him on a consitent basis during the off-season, that is of course once he recovers from Lisfranc surgery that was done to repair his foot.
He will need to adjust his game and learn how to deliver the blows and not absorb as many, but mainly how to take care of his body so he can stay on the field, not on the sideline.
Staying healthy and taking care of your body are the key element’s to having a successful season and career in the NFL. The good pros out there know this, let’s hope Ivory can become one of those good pros.
Who Dat Believes in them Saint WE DO GEAUX SAINTS!!
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