He can run, catch passes, play out of the slot, and return kickoffs & punts. The versatile running back, Akrum Wadley, has signed with the Pirates for 2021. Wadley was most recently a member of the 2020 Houston Roughnecks of the XFL and before that signed with the AAF’s Atlanta Legends in 2019. Wadley was a highly touted, speedy running back out of Iowa but was passed up in the 2018 NFL Draft. He did sign as a UDFA with the Tennessee Titans in the spring of ‘18 but was released before the NFL season began in fall. One ESPN analyst described Wadley’s style, “His game is lateral mobility and quickness and his vision.” These traits should translate well to the indoor game. Expect Wadley to make a good first impression this season.
As a senior for the Hawkeyes in 2017 Wadley rushed for over 1,100 yards on 252 carries with 10 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 353 yards and 3 TDs. In addition, Wadley averaged over 30 yards on 9 kickoff returns, his long was 72 yards. Playing in the Pinstripe Bowl, a game in which he was named MVP, Wadley gained 283 all-purpose yards and scored a touchdown in Iowa’s 27-20 win over Boston College. He was named Third-Team All-Big Ten by coaches and accepted the Roy G. Carver Award for most valuable offensive player at Iowa. Wadley was also named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll, one of only five players nationally to earn this recognition.
In 2016 Wadley saw action in all 13 games for the Hawkeyes. He finished the season with 1,081 yards rushing on 181 attempts with 10 touchdowns. Wadley was also second on the team in receiving with 36 receptions for 315 yards and 3 scores. He was the team’s bright spot in a 30-3 Outback Bowl loss to #17 ranked Florida. Wadley rushed for 115 yards on 22 carries and had 4 receptions for 21 yards. At season’s end Wadley earned Iowa’s Team Hustle Award for offense and was named Third-Team All-Big Ten by coaches. Big Ten Media named Wadley Honorable Mention All-Big Ten.
As a sophomore in 2015 Wadley saw action in nine games, rushing for 496 yards on 83 carries with 7 touchdowns. He caught 3 passes for 60 yards and a score in Iowa’s 45-16 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. In 2014, as a freshman, Wadley saw action in 8 games rushing for 186 yards on 33 attempts with 1 TD. He was named Honorable Mention Freshman Big-Ten.
Wadley grew up in New Jersey and also competed in basketball and track. He is entering his age-26 season with the Pirates.