Collegiate Downsizing

Originally Published: May 26, 2005
By Tom Luginbill | Scouts, Inc.
With a great power running game comes great responsibility – the responsibility to recruit a top-notch fullback.

Every program in the country utilizing a power running game and two- or three-back sets looks for a guy with the ability to set a physical tone and be a devastating lead blocker for the marquee backs that follow him through the hole. Traditional fullbacks are big, physical, one-dimensional blockers.

They are obviously more attractive to teams that run a power run game or have a premier tailback. They are players who rarely carry the ball.

The problem is that this type of fullback somewhat limits the offensive diversification. If he can't run or catch, defenses will know that when he's in the game, it's for run purposes. This type of player forces an offense to be more predictable.

However, the growing trend for most programs is a West Coast offense-type fullback who is somewhat undersized but far more versatile. He can catch, has some running skills and knows how to position block. He is not always a real physical player, but teams can't key on him in any particular area and dictate run/pass situations by his involvement. This guy rarely runs with the ball but is actively involved in the passing game.

This type of fullback is hard to find, but if a program can find one who is also physical it has the best of both worlds.

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