Rouse Keeps the Right Train of Thought
July 22, 2012
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State running back Robbie Rouse will have a lot of eyes on him as he enters his senior season.
He is a preseason candidate for four national awards, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year award and the Doak Walker Award that honors the nation's premier running back.
Rouse also only needs 317 yards to break the school rushing record that has stood since 1993.
But with all the attention surrounding Rouse and what he is poised to accomplish, the only thing on his mind is making his teammates around him better.
Rouse, a 2011 first-team All-WAC selection and team MVP, has been leading the Bulldogs all offseason during summer workouts and coordinating player-run practices.
"The summer has been great. This is probably the best work ethic our team has had since I've been here so I'm excited to see how it is going to turn out," Rouse said.
After Fresno State finished the 2011 season 4-9, Rouse put it on his shoulders to turn things around.
"My goal [this offseason] was just to continue to work hard every day I go out there and also to make people around me better," Rouse said. "I feel like I work hard, so I want to bring people up to my work ethic and get my teammates around me better."
Entering the year as the nation's fourth-leading active rusher with 3,157 career yards and being so close to the school rushing record, one might think there is a lot of weight on his shoulders. Rouse looks at it from a different angle.
"Coming to this school, it is known for having great running backs," he said. "For me to have a chance to break this [record] is just an honor. It's something I always hear, people ask me about it, but I just think about it like this: I want to win games and if we're winning games then it will take care of itself."
What he feels makes him a good running back is having a low center of gravity and making people miss.
"I'm not the biggest, so I try to be the quickest, fastest and just beat people in other aspects of the game that I can use my strengths to," Rouse said.
Fresno State's switch to the spread offense is one that Rouse welcomes, as it is the offense he ran in high school when he rushed for 2,390 yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior at San Diego's Madison High School.
"I love this offense," he said. "It's the offense I ran in high school and it worked out good for me so I'm looking for the same thing out here.
"The way Derek [Carr] and the receivers are playing, it's going to take teams out of the box and that's going to give me opportunities to run with smaller boxes than I did in past years. If they load the box, Derek is going to throw for a lot of yards, so it's going to go back and forth. That's how I see it."
On track to graduate in three and a half years and focused solely on the team, it's clear that Rouse will not be affected by the spotlight.
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