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January 11, 2005
All-American Diary: Finally we hit
Jason Gwaltney will be doing a daily diary from San Antonio for Rivals.com all week. The 6-foot-0, 234-pounder talks about the second day of practice, finally getting to hit and an offense that may not bring out his strengths.SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Long Island (N.Y.) North Babylon running back
Today was good because we finally got to play some real ball and tackle to the ground. That's when I can be most effective when I can lower my head and drive into people. There was one play, I'm not sure who it was, when there was a pile of guys in front of me and I just lowered and nailed someone, I think a defensive end, and his head snapped back. I just keep pushing the pile until the whistle blew, I wasn't going down.
No one really got me good and no one would tackle me straight on. Cush (Brian Cushing) got me low and twisted on my ankle while Rico McCoy came and got me high from the side. Cush was trying to break my ankle because he'd do anything to avoid taking me up high straight on (laugh).
This offense isn't going to allow me to show what I can do best because I'm not an east-west runner and, out of the shotgun, the first step for me and Bake (Toney Baker) is sideways in these sets. We're north-south guys who like to run out of an I-Formation or at least as a single back going forward.
Last year Brian Toal scored three touchdowns out of an I-Formation in the game and that's my strength. We have a ton of passing plays too and the backs aren't included too much. I was hoping to show what I can do, but this might not be the best gauge. But it's cool because I'm having a blast here and the coaches told me that they haven't forgotten me so maybe we'll add some new stuff.
I know I learned that I'm comfortable with the level of play and that I can certainly compete and do very well at this level. I also learned that I don't want to work out of an offense like this in college which hurts one of my favorites. I still haven't decided where I want to go yet though, I change my mind a lot.
Our offensive line is huge, maybe too big. We have five offensive tackles up front and they're so big that sometimes you get caught up in them. But my boy Eugene Monroe was doing some work before he got hurt, but he'll be back. I'm also getting to know more players like Greg Paulus, Melvin Alaeze and others.
We're having a good time and meeting people like Patrick Turner make this a great experience. Here's a kid who is so good and has every reason in the world to be cocky and be a loudmouth and he's so down-to-earth and he just wants to learn more and more. It's guys like that you want to play with.