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Inside the head; hitstick is greater than juke

October 8, 2010

Focus, speed, or strength are often cited by athletes as the most important qualities to excel at their position. While all those things go into being a good running back freshmen Stepan Flynn thinks something else is more important.

“I think you have to be very tough,” said Flynn. “You also need to be mean because you can’t always run away, but you can always run them over; I would rather run someone over than juke them.”

Before games, the team likes to listen to music, mainly rap, to get amped. Flynn has his own preference. “I don’t listen to rap, I try to listen to metal and more intense, more angry music.” Flynn added, “I also like to think about past events that have really bothered me. In big games I think about my last game in high school that we lost in the semifinals, which really makes me upset and gets me ready to run over people.”

The first carry really sets the tone for the rest of the game, so Flynn likes to get off with a solid gain. “A touchdown would be great but a good five yard gain or more is all I need, it clears my mind and lets me know I can run against the opponent.

During the course of the game, Flynn likes to keep the plays simple. “I go right up the gut between the tackles is my favorite play, with the fullback plowing over someone.”

The fullback position is important to Flynn and his style of running. “The offensive line and fullback are the only reason I get any yards. The fullback, in particular, goes unnoticed but Ridgeway really makes a lot of big blocks for me to open up holes.”

The defensive formation often gives Flynn great hope or doubt. “A lot of times I would rather face anyone other than the defensive line, I am glad the offensive line usually takes those guys up. I would rather try and make a play against linebackers than defensive linemen.” Flynn loves seeing defensive backs though. Any time we run weak side I get excited because I love facing fewer guys. And anytime they are in nickel or dime formation with extra defensive backs makes it easier to run.”

Running backs take more hits than anyone else on the field but Flynn doesn’t think it’s the hardest position. “I think offensive line is hardest position, and running the ball isn’t too difficult but being able to read the block schemes and being able to pick up the blitzes is often the hardest part. It’s much easier to find the hole and run through it than it is to pick up blitzing linebackers and safeties.”

Football is considered one of the biggest team sports; you need all 11 players on your team working as one to make plays happen. Flynn knows this and takes little credit for his plays. “I am just doing my job, and not trying to do anything more or less but follow the play and make it happen. The only personal statistic I care about is yards per carry because then you really see how hard you fought for that extra yard.

Since high school Flynn has always been a running back and he loves it. “It’s what I did in high school and I like it because I can make my own decision. I make other people follow me and react to what I do. I can run someone over or cut off them and juke them. The overall best thing is ability to score a touchdown is an amazing feeling. But even if I just block people and trash them is alright with me.”

BY JACK DONNELLY
Co-Sports Editor

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