'Next man up' is a slogan often used in sports. It's three words that are used almost too often in the world of football. One player goes down with an injury, prompting the next player to step up and play. And that's exactly what Dawrence Roberts is being asked to do at Fairmont State.
"It's going to be some big shoes to fill. He's a very great guy. He's a star player and a hard worker. I knew for a fact that I was going to have to step it up for the offense when he went down," Fairmont State senior running back Dawrence Roberts said.
'He' is junior running back Daniel Monroe.
"I took a hit to the knee. It happened two or three weeks before the season started. It was in a scrimmage that we had. It was an unfortunate hit on the sideline by one of the DB's. He was just trying to finish a play," Falcons junior running back Daniel Monroe said.
Unfortunately that play cost Monroe a majority of the season. The star running back from Florida is now forced to watch from the sideline, while Roberts shines on the field.
"But Dawrence especially, coming from a different program and having to learn a new system as quickly as he did. To take the snaps that he's taken and to carry the rushing attack for us. He's obviously amazing," Monroe admitted.
"He's done a good job. I think he can be better than he is and I think he knows that. I think he was getting back into the game speed during the first couple of weeks, as crazy as that sounds. He hadn't been into a game for a little while. Last week was a pretty big game for him. You can see him each week getting progressively better," Fairmont State Head Football Coach Jason Woodman said.
Roberts transferred to Fairmont over the summer from Grambling State. He suffered a torn ACL last year. But this year he's averaging just under 100 yards per game. It was a needed element in the absence of Monroe, and he's thankful for the opportunity with the Falcons.
"I came a long way. The path to even get here, from an ACL surgery, once you get the nervousness out of your body, it feels pretty good. I've pretty much impressed myself and am impressed by my offensive line. These coaches took a chance on me. So I knew right then and there. They took a chance, so I'm going to take a chance too."