Arkansas Razorback fullback Kiero Small is a former second-team all state running back and Hartnell Community College (CA) junior college transfer. At Hartnell, Kiero played both Fullback and Linebacker, leading the team in tackles for two consecutive years. Playing in a limited, however ever important role for the third ranked running attack in the SEC last season, Small netted two starts and several (5) broken face masks, and a reputation as a vicious hitter who seeks out contact.
Size: At 5-10 and 255 pounds, Kiero has a short, thick build, with a solid core, and thick legs. He uses his small stature to get up and under pad level to push defenders out of the play. While appearing to be at his max playing weight, he is still effective in his core special team duties.
Blocking: Arguably Kiero’s best aspect to his game. He is a ready and willing blocker, whom seeks out defenders on the second and third level. He is continually scanning the field for the free linebacker or safety to put a helmet on. Kiero is able to keep a firm base and anchor himself in pass protection while also remaining flexible enough to be the lead blocker in the run game, where he can seal off and make a wall for the running back.
Inside Running: While he hasn’t been asked to do much if any form of actual running in the Petrino lead offense (1 attempt 1 yard and 1 touchdown), but has shown he can be utilized as a power runner, which he showed in High School and Hartnell Community College. Not enough is known if he still has the same power and running ability he once had, as he isn’t asked to touch the ball at Arkansas, but rumors for the upcoming season is he can be asked to take on a more involved role with the departure of goal line back Broderick Green (graduation).
Tackling: Again, going back to his days at Hartnell, Kiero showed good overall technique and is a sure tackler. He does tend to go for the big hit more often than one would like to see, which causes him to lower his head and lose sight of the carrier. He led the team in tackles two straight seasons, and was a 2-time all conference player. He isn’t the ideal height to play linebacker, but has the skill set to stick there at the college and NFL level.
Special Teams: Kiero has played both as an upman and a gunner in Punt and Kickoff coverage/returns. He utilizes his speed and strength to secure the returner, while also showing the ability to set and secure a wall during returns. He is also a violent tackler, who relishes the opportunity to hit.
Overall: Kiero has the making of a prototypical mauling and dominant run blocker. He projects currently to Greg Jones, RB/FB Florida State, minus the explosive run game ability. If he wants to assure a chance at being the top fullback to come out, Kiero needs to show an offensive game, whether that is pass catching or running ability. I will chalk his lack of touches to the Petrino system last year, and will need to improve on his already growing reputation for big hits and openings. Whatever team will draft Kiero will also land one of the potential special teams aces for this upcoming season.