Eagles Call Up Explosive, Dynamic Rookie with ‘Top-Notch Speed’

Adrian Killins

Getty Adrian Killins surprisingly went undrafted out of Central Florida.

It took nearly three weeks but the man who put the “fast” in “UCFast” has been activated. Adrian Killins is cleared for his NFL takeoff.

While it’s still unclear if the Eagles will actually allow Killins to see the field tomorrow night, the fact that the burner from Central Florida was promoted to the active roster is a good sign. Remember, this is the explosive playmaker who openly challenged his track-star teammates to a race during training camp. He’s also the same dynamic utility back that helped lead the UCF Black Knights (13-0) to a co-national championship in 2017.

Killins, who ranks fourth all-time at UCF with 4,361 all-purpose yards, was the lightning bolt for that undefeated team. He also left UCF as the school’s fifth all-time leading rusher (2,459 yards) and eighth all-time leader in kick return yards (1,038). His 34 total touchdowns are the fourth-most in program history.

“He’s one of the players that I think has kind of caught our eye a little bit,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said early in camp. “We had him at receiver, then running back, or vice versa, running back, receiver, now back to running back. Someone that’s come in and really done a nice job that way.”

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Killins Looking to Provide Spark

Killins didn’t make the final 53-man roster coming out of camp but he cleared waivers and the team quickly stashed him on the practice squad. Whether or not he gets to play this week is anyone’s guess.

There is certainly an opportunity for Killins, though. Backup running backs Corey Clement and Boston Scott have been largely unimpressive through the first three weeks, plus the Eagles could sure use a jolt in the punt-return game.

Boston Scott ranks 23rd in the NFL in kick-return yardage: three returns for 61 yards. Meanwhile, Greg Ward is the primary punt returner and averaging a dismal 3.33 yards-per-return. Killins has world-class speed and wants to showcase it, just in a smart and calculated manner.

“Just knowing when to use it and when not to use it. You can’t play top-tier or top-notch speed all the time,” Killins said on Aug. 26. “You got to slow it down, slow it down and speed it up. You got to gauge your speed here and there because you can’t run 100 miles-per-hour all the time, just knowing how to use that speed from the track and put it on the field each and every rep when I’m out there.”

Killins was named Track and Field Athlete of the Year after winning back-to-back Class 3A Florida state titles in the 200 meters in 2015 and 2016. He dusted the field in 21.16 seconds and was .01 of a second from grabbing gold in the 100 meters.

“When I’m out there, certain plays you may have to go full throttle, certain plays you may have to tone it down, gauge it a little bit,” Killins said of balancing track speed with football speed. “To translate from track to football, it helped, track and field helped me a lot to use my speed on the field.”

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