As a fullback in a triple-option offense, I have multiple responsibilities – carrying the ball, blocking for other backs, selling fake handoffs and occasionally catching a pass or two.
Yards never come easy when you’re a fullback. Most of my runs are north and south, which means I have to go straight through all the big boys on the field. Since I don’t have much room to dance around defensive players, I have to be very aware of what my blockers are doing at all times and know where the holes in the line of scrimmage will be.
Once I make it past the first wave of defenders, it is my responsibility to break one tackle. If I do break the tackle, it usually results in a big play.
Playing fullback in the triple-option means I get a lot of opportunities to carry the ball. On the downside, it also means I get tackled almost every single play because the defense doesn’t always know which of the three players have the ball. Because of the amount of carries, along with the number of hits I take, I have to stay healthy and keep my body in the best shape I can.
I have taken multiple strength and conditioning classes in school, as well as speed and agility training during the offseason. In addition to physical training, I also train mentally by spending hours watching film and trying to understand our opponent’s defense and figuring out what I do wrong on bad plays.
I find changes I can make to turn 3-yard gains into touchdowns.
Faking handoffs and blocking for our other running backs are probably my most important responsibilities. Sometimes a good fake will freeze up a linebacker or free safety long enough to make it impossible for them to reach the running back.
Ninety percent of my run plays are options and it is sort of hard for me to fake a handoff if I don’t know whether I will get the ball or not. As a solution, quarterback Jimmy Krenger and I have repped our quarterback-fullback mesh to the point where it is second nature to both of us. That helps because it gives him more time to make a good read and it gives me time to also look at the read and get a good idea of if it will be a give or a pull.