Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


October 15, 2013

Catching up with the Flu

Fourth highest collegiate rusher in the nation comes home



“My first time out on the field was a great experience,” Fluellen said. “We were playing Arizona and they were top 25 ranked at the time. They beat us bad and I only got a couple plays because I had two upperclassmen ahead of me, but I loved being out on the field. The crowd was amazing. When I finally got my chance my junior year, I just took off with it and never look back.”
Last season, Fluellen earned First Team All-MAC honors and was a prestigious Doak Walker Award finalist, finishing eighth in nation with 124.8 yards per game. His 1,498 rushing yards ranks fifth all-time at Toledo. He had 200-plus yards in three games, including a career-best 228 yards against the University at Buffalo.
This year, he's averaging 6.6 yards per carry with nine touchdowns and also has 22 receptions for 182 yards. In his last game against Central Michigan (Oct. 5), Fluellen ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries. Among Toledo's upcoming contests is a home game against UB on Nov. 12. The Rockets host Navy at noon this Saturday in their next contest.
The Flu is spreading and pro scouts are catching it. Two NFL teams — the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders — are among those that have contacted Bronson and expressed interest in Fluellen.
“They asked me some general questions about him — his accomplishments, community involvement. Pretty much it was a basic background check to see how he did in high school,” Bronson said.
Former Lions head coach Bob Casler, an assistant under both Finn and Bronson, said Fluellen is someone youngsters in this community can look up to.
“It's a great feeling to see a local kid do well. He really has developed over the years he's been at Toledo and I just wish him all the best,” Casler said. “He's a great representative of our community, he's a great representative of Toledo and God willing, he's going to be in the pros next year.”
Fluellen said he stays in touch with Jhamal, the older brother whose LHS rushing records he went on to break. Jhamal was a running back at Syracuse and Maine and today works as a counselor with troubled youths in Massachusetts.
His advice to everyone back home is stay positive.
“Keep your dreams alive because you get what you put in,” Fluellen said. “If you work hard and believe in yourself, it will happen.”

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