When the AFC Title game kicks off a little after 6:30 eastern, many fans in New Jersey will be rooting for Kansas City. That’s because a star running back wearing number 10 in Chiefs fire engine red once wore another shade of red in New Jersey.
Isiah Pacheco – a native of Vineland, New Jersey — played four years at Rutgers University, rushing for 2,442 yards and 18 touchdowns, placing him seventh all time among Scarlet Knights running backs.
While a lot of people will be talking about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who was drafted last in the 2022 draft, Pacheco was drafted 11 spots ahead of Purdy in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the Chiefs.
Like Purdy in San Fran, Pacheco has taken the NFL by storm, and has done so over the course of an an entire NFL season.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve, Pacheco took over as Kansas City’s number one back and never looked back, leading the team in rushing yards with 830, a 4.9 yards per carry clip. That average yards per carry stat ties Pachecho for 10th in the NFL. His yardage puts him 24th in the NFL among running backs.
Last week against Jacksonville, Pacheco ran for 95 yards in KC’s 27-20 win. In short a kid from Jersey went from being a guy wearing Tyreek Hill’s old number 10 to being a major weapon out of the backfield for a future Hall of Famer in Patrick Mahomes.
“I’ve been waiting on this moment my whole life,” Pacheco said during Wednesday’s AFC Title Game Press Conference.
In a beautiful and powerful feature piece written by Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post, Pacheco talks about how the tragic deaths of his brother, Travoise to a stabbing in 2016, and his sister, Celeste to a shooting in 2017 have helped motivate him to play hard and live even harder for their memory.
Now he gets a chance to shine one of the sports grandest stages: the AFC Championship Game. Should Kansas City beat Cincinnati, Pacheco will make it to the biggest stage of all: the Super Bowl.
What are they saying about RU’s very own Isiah Pacheco? Read below!