College Football

Rosado becoming comfortable with switch to backfield

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 9, 2017 7:20 am

QUINCY -- Dylan Rosado can't do much to reshape his frame.

"I feel like I'm a little undersized," he said.

By some collegiate running back standards, Rosado is. What the 5-foot-10, 180-pound freshman lacks in stature, he more than makes up for in speed.

It's why Quincy University interim head coach Gary Bass and offensive coordinator Khanis Hubbard took a chance on shifting Rosado from the position they recruited him to play -- wide receiver -- to tailback playing behind senior Chris Harris.

That move has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Rosado became the Hawks' feature back in Saturday's 45-28 loss to William Jewell at QU Stadium after Harris went down in the first quarter with a knee injury. Rosado responded with 94 yards on 15 carries, a touchdown and increased confidence in what he can do.

"I'm getting more comfortable with where I'm at," said Rosado, who averaged 23 yards per reception at Greenwood, Ind., and had 504 yards rushing in three varsity seasons. "I have people next to me who know what they're doing, people who are willing to help me.

"So the nerves are there, but they're not there. It's unique. They're good nerves."

He hasn't looked nervous on the field.

Rosado's first two collegiate carries came in the loss at Southwest Baptist, but his explosion onto the scene came during the 31-17 victory over Robert Morris during QU's homecoming weekend. His first touch was on a toss sweep to the right sideline, which he turned into an 80-yard touchdown run.

"The kid can flat fly," Bass said.

He's producing largely because of his pure athletic ability. Rosado still doesn't have a full grasp of the offense.

"I need to learn the plays a little bit better," said Rosado, who ran a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash last February at a weightlifting competition at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. "Mistakes are going to happen, but you have to move past that. The coaches are always telling us, ‘Control the controllables.' Effort, take care of the ball, remember what we're supposed to do, those are the controllables.

"As long as we do that, we will be successful. Personally, that's what I have to work on."

Steadily, those things are getting better, largely because of the time Harris has invested in helping Rosado.

"Chris, man, he's the one pushing me to do the things I need to do," Rosado said. "If it weren't for him, I wouldn't even know the plays. I look up to all of those running backs a bunch, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't even know what I'm even doing."

It made stepping in to a tough situation last Saturday a little easier.

"We're well prepared," Rosado said. "At practice, we rotate four or five running backs. We have to be ready for everything."

The challenge this week will be shaking off a disappointing loss and prepping for a road trip to four-time Great Lakes Valley Conference champion Indianapolis, ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division II coaches poll.

"We have to keep our composure," Rosado said. "You have to look past the mistakes. We know why we're out here. The coaches believe in us, and they know what we can do what we have to do."

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