Kendall Brock got some good news this week.
“They just told me on Wednesday that I would be playing running back,” the Nevada Wolf Pack junior said. “I couldn’t have been more excited.”
Brock, who came to the Wolf Pack as a freshman before the 2011 season, was a standout running back in high school at Clovis (Calif.) West High. He holds 14 school records and ran for 4,918 yards in his high school career with 62 touchdowns.
With the Wolf Pack, though, the 5-foot-9, 195-pounder was mainly a kickoff returner the past two seasons. As a freshman he averaged 21.6 yards on 28 kickoff returns and he averaged 23.4 yards on 31 returns last year as a sophomore. He has also run the ball 14 times in his Pack career for 107 yards and two touchdowns and has caught 10 passes for 100 yards and two scores.
“I just wanted to do whatever the team wanted me to do,” Brock said.
What he really wanted was a chance to carry the ball on a regular basis out of the backfield. He’s going to get that chance now.
“As of right now he is our number two back behind Don Jackson,” Pack head coach Brian Polian said.
“That’s news to me,” Brock said. “Like I said, this all just happened on Wednesday. But I’m thrilled.”
Brock had a solid scrimmage on Saturday in the Silver and Blue game, running for 66 yards on 10 carries. He had carries for 25, 12 and nine yards.
“Kendall Brock looked great,” Polian said.
Better yet, Kendall Brock felt great.
“Yeah, I’m back at it,” he smiled. “It’s an exciting change. It felt real good to be back there. But I knew it would. That’s my natural position.”
The Pack had Brock return kickoffs the last two years because of his speed and ability to make people miss. He showed those qualities on Saturday also.
“It’s all coming back to me,” he said. “But running back just comes natural to me anyway. That’s where I’ve played the most in my career.”
He clearly prefers running back to wide receiver.
“Running back is more of an instinctive position,” he said. “I think I’ve always had those instincts. Wide receiver is more about running routes.”
And hoping the quarterback throws you the ball.
“Receiver can get frustrating at times but that’s just the position,” he said. “You can run a great route and get open but the quarterback still might go to someone else.”
When his number is called at running back he knows he’s going to get the ball.
“I think Don Jackson and myself can be a dangerous tandem at running back,” Brock said.
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Jackson, a transfer from Iowa Western, has gotten the bulk of the snaps with the starting offense this spring. Chris Solomon, Xavier Stephens and Nate McLaurin have also gotten good looks at the position.
“Kendall Brock gives us a little bit of quickness that we don’t have otherwise,” Polian said.
Fajardo is also excited to have Brock in the backfield.
“He’s shifty,” the Pack quarterback said. “When he gets in the open field, he can make guys miss and there he goes.”
Brock, who will turn 21-years-old on July 10, can’t wait for summer practices to start in August.
“My ability to change direction is one of my strengths,” he said. “I also think it benefits me because I’m a little smaller. It’s hard for those linebackers to see me sometimes.”