Engleman now has a starring role at Centre

August 25, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

Lorenzo Engleman's successful journey from an urban high school in Cincinnati to Centre College is nearing an end. But someday he could be pointing other young men from his hometown down the same route.

Engleman has one more season to star for the Centre offense, and he's looking forward to his best season yet as he assumes a starring role for the Colonels. Once his playing days are done, he won't be done with football. He said he wants to become a high school coach, and he would love to work in his native Cincinnati.

"I like the inner city there, and I'd love to be a high school coach," he said.

Engleman is also in love with Centre, where he has worked his way up the depth chart to become a valuable cog in the Colonels offense. And he'll be even more critical to their success this fall as the primary running back.


"I think it's all coming into place now," he said. "When I was a sophomore I got a little playing time, last year I got a little more time and this year I'm going to be ready. It's just like it was in high school."

It was in his senior year of high school that Engleman told his father how much he loved Centre after the two of them visited the campus.

Once he made his decision, it wasn't an easy sell to his friends and teammates at Hughes High School.

"It came as a surprise to pretty much everybody at home," he said. "Nobody really knows about the place. I did a lot of explaining about why I was coming down here. But I loved the place, and I liked the small town."

Engleman will be trying to make the most of his final season at Centre, where he and his fellow seniors will try to improve on last season's 6-4 campaign and win their first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.

"We've set our goals to win conference and got the playoffs," he said. "We just want to start a new tradition here.

"We've got a good bunch of seniors, and I'm looking forward to playing with these guys this last year. I look for big things this season."

He was the second-leading rusher and leading receiver

Engleman has proven to be a versatile player. He was Centre's second-leading rusher last season with 235 yards and was the leading receiver as a safety valve out of the backfield for first-year quarterback Brian Behrendt with 45 catches for 396 yards.

Now he's the man at running back.

"It's funny, because all the freshmen and sophomores are coming to me and asking, 'What do we do here? What do we do there?'" he said.

Engleman said he isn't setting any goals for what he hopes to do this fall.

"I just want to get out there and do what needs to be done," he said. "Coach told me I'd get the ball about 20 times a game, and that's plenty for me."

It's plenty more than Engleman is used to. He had 13 carries in Centre's first game last season against Kenyon for a season-high 67 yards. He had no more than six carries in any other game.

Engleman has yet to score a rushing touchdown at Centre, though he has caught four touchdown passes. And even though he'll be running the ball more often, he will still be a threat to catch passes. He caught four or more in eight of 10 games last season, including a season-best eight against Trinity.

Engleman said he's glad that coach Andy Frye recruited him so persistently four years ago and that he chose Centre.

"This is going to be an experience I'll never forget," he said.

Engleman's post-Centre plans will take him to graduate school at Cincinnati, just a few blocks from his old high school.

If he does become a high school coach, he said he'd be glad to recommend the Centre experience to his charges.

"I would, most definitely," he said. "I would definitely recommend Centre for a player who's looking for a school like this to go to."

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