发信人: rubby (student driver), 信区: Football
标 题: Great Dayne's great task
发信站: The unknown SPACE (Fri Apr 9 00:45:56 1999), 转信
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- What is
the motivation for someone who has
attached his name to 34 school
records in just three Big Ten
What is the challenge for someone
who has already rushed for 5,091
yards and 51 touchdowns and has
outgained the opposing team 20 times
in 31 career starts?
What motivates 21-year-old
Wisconsin tailback Ron Dayne? What
Dayne is challenged by the idea of becoming college football's all-time leading
rusher. And he is motivated by the current record holder, Ricky Williams.
"Knowing that it is his [record], I want to get over it," Dayne says. "Maybe if
was anybody else's I'd just try and take it easy and maybe get 1,716."
Dayne smiles broadly, exposing his dimples, a sense of humor and an
understanding of where he stands in history. He needs 1,716 yards during the
1999 season to catch Williams, who finished his fabled Texas career with 6,279
yards (excluding bowls).
Dayne is more than willing to go that extra yard: 1,717.
"We know each other and we speak," Dayne says of his rivalry with Williams. "I
talked to him a couple of times on the phone about staying in school and his
decision. And he just told me that I should stay. But that really didn't
So what are the influences in his life? We go back to the original questions for
What motivates Dayne? And what challenges lie ahead for the 5-foot-10,
255-pound running back who blushes when teased about being the August
centerfold for Playboy magazine's annual preseason All-American team?
"I believe that he wants to make a statement in 1999," says Wisconsin offensive
coordinator Brian White, Dayne's personal tutor on the playing field.
"I sensed that going into the Rose Bowl, too. He knew it was his showcase game.
And he was not foolish enough to think that there weren't people out there
whispering about Ron Dayne."
There were whispers about Dayne's durability, his conditioning, his ability to p
with injuries, his burst to the line of scrimmage.
"I don't know how to put it, but a lot of people didn't think I was as fast as I
Dayne said. "It always seems to be something. Can he play hurt? Can he run? "If
it isn't about my weight, it's, 'He's not seeing the holes right -- or he isn't
the holes fast enough.'" he says. 'But I don't let it bother me.'
"My weight isn't a problem and hasn't been a problem," he says softly but
sternly. "When I first got here, I weighed 272 pounds. We had 40s [40-yard
sprints] that day and I ran 4.5 [seconds]."
Dayne silenced the whispers with an MVP performance in the Rose Bowl,
rushing for 246 yards (9.1 average) and four touchdowns in Wisconsin's 38-31
victory over UCLA.
"He wanted to put all the questions to rest and I believe he did," White says wi
a smile. "With that said, now you've got to keep that snowball rolling and that
to come from him. ... Ron can get an awfully lot better, no question about it. W
just need him to be crisp, to practice in the spring the way he prepared for the
Competition motivates Dayne. The game itself motivates Dayne.
As such, the fact that he's being withheld from full contact and scrimmages
during spring practice has been an adjustment, although Dayne says most of his
injuries have come from practicing against teammates.
"But I just want to play," Dayne says. "I want to go out and be 'live' like
That's not going to happen this spring. Or in August training camp, heading into
the Sept. 4 opener against Murray State at Camp Randall Stadium.
The biggest challenge for Dayne, according to White: How will he avoid
Dayne has the answer.
"I can get better," he says.
Better as a runner, better as a blocker. Better as a receiver?
"I can catch -- that's not a problem -- I just haven't done a lot of it," he say
endorsing quarterbacks Scott Kavanagh and Brooks Bollinger, who are
competing for the job held for three years by graduate Mike Samuel.
"I know we're going to throw the ball a little more this season because we've go
two quarterbacks who can throw it. I'm not saying Mike couldn't throw. We're
just going to do it more and that should lift a little weight off my shoulders."
But is Dayne still hungry? As hungry as he was as a freshman?
"Definitely," he says, adding that his daughter Jada is now old enough to
understand a little more who she sees on the field.
Family motivates Dayne. That includes his cousins back in New Jersey, who
asked Dayne to acknowledge them during the Rose Bowl. And he did, crossing
his forearms above his head after scoring.
X marked the spot.
In the end zone.
"I can get better," Dayne repeats.
And that's his driving force: the motivation and challenge to catch Ricky
Williams and go him 1 yard better.
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