ISU RUNNING BACKS: Kerlegrand is the person within the again room | Sports activities
Peterson Kerlegrand’s running back in the state of Indiana has gone from being a surprise post about consolidating a starting job into a dependent veteran.
If you remember, Kerlegrand took to the stage in 2018. After he had played in special teams for most of the season, injuries in the backcourt of the ISU forced Kerlegrand to use in the decisive season finale in Western Illinois.
In a game that most assumed the Sycamores would win and make it through to the playoffs, Kerlegrand got nowhere, charging 102 of his 138 yards of the season in that last-minute win against the Leathernecks. Unfortunately, ISU was snubbed by an FCS playoff offer, but Kerlegrand was someone to watch in ISU’s future.
In 2019, Kerlegrand started nine of the eleven games, charging for 746 yards and three touchdowns. At the end of the season he was part of a strong ISU barrel attack.
With the new season Kerlegrand is the clear contribution in the backcourt of the ISU and a role that he enjoys but does not take for granted.
“It’s an endless cycle. Just because I was the guy last year doesn’t mean I’m the guy this year,” said Kerlegrand. “That’s how I go about things. There is an even playing field in this room and that’s how I go about it all the time. Even if I were one of the guys in the room waiting, I’d do whatever I can to be it. You are not given anything, it has to be earned. “
ISU trainer Curt Mallory liked what he saw of Kerlegrand and praised his work ethic. However, it is what Mallory hears, doesn’t see.
“You hear him more. Before you saw him, now you hear him hold people accountable. He’s always been a tough, hard working guy, but I’m impressed with how he’s grown [leadership-wise]Said Mallory.
For fellow grands? It’s nothing that he doesn’t feel like he hasn’t done yet.
“I do what I have done – by example, there is more to do than talk, but what if I have to talk? I will. I keep the energy high and stay focused. But I am focused and always pay attention to details. “
Mallory also noted that feeling what his blockers are about to do, Kerlegrand does a better job than he has in the past.
“He’s more of a patient runner now. He’s only hit one hole in the past. Now you can see he’s feeling things a little better and getting that talent,” Mallory said.
Behind Kerlegrand is precious little ISU gaming experience. Matt Sora’s five carries for 31 yards are the only other yards any ISU back has won at Sycamore Blue.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any contributors. One player to look out for is Justin Dinka, the San Diego State Transfer. He played one season for the Aztecs with one catch, but he won 3,549 yards in high school in the Dallas area.
“He’s getting better every day. He’s a little older and it gets better as he gets used to the system,” Mallory said.
Another player Mallory said dropped out is real freshman Kyle Franklin, who hails from Elmhurst, Illinois. Franklin was a three-time State Master at Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep in the Chicago area. He’s short – 5 feet – 8, but that shouldn’t hold him back in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
“Kyle has great speed. He’s hard to spot, but he’s a physical looking young man, ”Mallory said.
Sora missed part of the camp with injuries but should help. The rest of the running back cast are Redshirt or true newbies, many of them local hopefuls.
Former North Central star Dawson Basinger and former Northview star Korbin Allen are in the mix. Non-local is Lafayette’s Omarion Dixon, though local fans could see him for Harrison last year storming 151 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-13 win over Terre Haute South.
Derrick McLaughlin from Gurnee, Illinois is also there. The ISU also lists the long snapper Wyatt Harwood as a last resort.
ISU RUNNING BACKS
• Trusted Contributors – Peterson Kerlegrand (5-9, 195, Sr.), Matt Sora (5-11, 220, Sun.)
• New – Justin Dinka (5-11, 180, Fri, transfer from San Diego State)
• Other contributors – Dawson Basinger (5-10, 195, RFr.), Wyatt Harwood (6-1, 205, Sr.)
• Real Newbies – Korbin Allen (5-10, 190, Fr.), Kyle Franklin (5-8, 180, Fr.), Derrick McLaughlin (6-0, 210, Fr.), Omarion Dixon (6-1, 220, Fr.).
• Position Coach – Aaron Young.