Football

Who is Travis Homer, the Miami Hurricanes running back drafted by the Seattle Seahawks?

Miami Hurricanes running back Travis Homer (24) runs for a first down in the first quarter as the University of Miami plays Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill on Friday, October 26, 2018.
Miami Hurricanes running back Travis Homer (24) runs for a first down in the first quarter as the University of Miami plays Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill on Friday, October 26, 2018. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Travis Homer is a man of few words, no controversy and many talents.

“Silent assassin’’ is how Homer, who was chosen Saturday by the Seattle Seahawks with the 31st pick in the sixth round — No. 204 overall, was described by a teammate last season. And few would argue.

Quiet, intelligent and as hard a worker as a coach could find, he just never felt much like talking outside of his inner circle of teammates.

But what he could do on the football field raised eyebrows, from the time Homer took over after former Canes star Mark Walton was injured in 2018 through his outstanding performance in the recent NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year.

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“He’s just quiet,’’ said former teammate Mike Harley, the Canes receiver who likened Homer to a silent assassin. “But game time between the lines, he’ll run through you, run over you and kill you.’’

Homer started at running back for most of his final two seasons with the Hurricanes before he decided to enter the Draft following his junior year.

He initially took over as Miami’s top tailback in 2017 when Walton’s college career ended just five games into the season. After taking the reins, Homer finished his sophomore season with 966 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 163 carries.

As a junior, Homer’s numbers were nearly identical. The halfback started all 13 games for the Hurricanes and ran for 985 yards and four touchdowns on 164 carries.

His 1,995 career rushing yards were 12th most in Miami history, just behind Walton and just ahead of Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore.

“I just felt like it was time for me,’’ Homer said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I can handle what comes with the next level. I just prayed with God about it and that helped me find the answer.’’

Homer’s stock soared with his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in March.

Homer ran his 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds — fifth fastest among running backs in Indianapolis — and posted the second best vertical leap at his position with a height of 39 1/2 inches.

Homer also notched a 130-inch broad jump to tie him for the best score among running backs, and scored top-10 times at his position in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. With his physical traits, Homer can be more than just a two-down running back.

When asked in March what he does best as a running back, Homer replied, “Pass protect. ... I enjoy the physicality.”

Homer, who attended Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach before arriving in Coral Gables, was also a productive receiver for the Hurricanes, catching 19 passes for 186 yards as a junior, and a standout on special teams.

Homer is still the only offensive player to wear Miami’s turnover chain after he recovered a fumble on a punt in 2017. In his career, Homer recorded 16 tackles, primarily on kickoff and punt coverage.

He conceded he doesn’t watch the NFL, or at least didn’t previously, but he is immersed in anime, “a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art and , futuristic settings, violence, and sexuality,’’ according to dictionary.com.

How many football games has he watched in his life?

“I’m sure I watched a lot when I was younger,’’ Homer said at the combine. “But recently I haven’t watched that many. I’m just focused on me and my tape.’’

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