The Times West Virginian

Sports

August 21, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- Dreamius may become WVU ‘Wizard of Ahs’

MORGANTOWN — The reports we all have gotten out of those who have really seen him play are that Dreamius Smith is a beast with the football in his hands, nearly 220 pounds of power who also has the ability to make a cut or two when called upon.

With that in mind you would think his nickname among his West Virginia University teammates would be, well, “Beast” or something of that ilk, but that is hardly the case.

So what do his teammates call him?

“Toto,” he answered, almost shyly.

Toto, as in that cute little Cairn terrier puppy Judy Garland carried with her through the Kansas tornado and into The Land of Oz.

Toto?

“Everybody likes to call me ‘Toto’ because I’m from Kansas,” he said.

Indeed, he does come from Wichita by way of Kansas’ Butler Community College, and, yes, he actually had signed with Kansas before failing to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse due to test scores.

But wouldn’t “The Kansas Comet,” as they once called Gale Sayers, who ran as no running back before him or since, be better.

Best yet, considering the Kansas connection and the Toto reference, would be simply “The Wizard of Ahs.”

Of course, one might argue that with a name like Dreamius, there really is no need for a nickname at all.

Dreamius is difficult to improve upon.

Smith represents an important part of the offensive package that Dana Holgorsen wants in his offense. He believes in versatility, and while much of his offense is based on getting speedy backs one-on-one in space, he also wants an inside game to keep the linebackers honest.

You saw it with Shawne Alston, but he was so injury plagued that Holgorsen never really knew when he would be available.

Smith does not seem to be that type and, in fact, says that he can take a heavy workload if necessary.

“Whatever they have in store is fine,” he said when asked if he could handle 25 carries in a game. “Yes, I can take 25 carries, but whatever happens. I won’t be a selfish type of person. If we get a win, that’s what I want.”

It is highly unlikely Smith will be overworked running the ball very often as Holgorsen likes to throw the football a lot and has a lot of options to run it with the likes of Dustin Garrison, Andrew Buie and Charles Sims at the running back position, each in possession of at least one 200-yard single-game effort on his collegiate resume.

More than likely, Smith will be asked to do as much blocking as running, especially if Holgorsen goes with as many two-back sets as you would think he would with the depth at the position.

“You are labeled as a running back, so every coach knows you can run the ball. They want to know what you can do when you don’t have the ball,” he said. “Coach (Ja’Juan) Seider wants to see that we are running downfield and making blocks and wants to see you going down there when someone else catches the ball to block for them.”

Smith has been working hard on his blocking, knowing that might be the key to get him more playing time.

“That’s just something that I wanted to pick up and improve on. My junior college coaches stressed that a lot, so I knew I had to bring that here and show that not only can I run the ball, but I can help out blocking, too. I’m still working on it, and it can always improve,” he said.

In the end, though, Dreamius Smith is here because of what he adds as a ball carrier.

“I would say my strengths are my vision and just lowering my shoulder to get those extra, tough yards. I can always break a long run, but I’d say my strength is fighting in between the tackles and getting those tough yards,” he said.

Getting into this position, though, took a bit longer than Smith would have liked, although he doesn’t begrudge it and believes it was necessary.

He had enrolled at Kansas in the summer a couple of years back but was stymied by his ACT score, so he went off to Butler CC, a traditional national power.

  “Knowing the benefits of working hard and staying consistent on the practice field,” he said of what he learned. “In the long run it paid off. It was two good years I really needed. It helped me out here, and I never regretted going there.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • EFHS #11 PITCH -TS.jpg Bolander no-hits FSHS in 1-0 win: PHOTOS

    Jacob Bolander is known affectionately by his East Fairmont teammates as “BoBo.” After his performance Thursday, the Bee baseball team might have to change that nickname to “No-No.”
    The right-handed ace tossed a no-hitter against No. 3 Fairmont Senior in a 1-0 win over the cross-town rival at Mary Lou Retton Park.

    April 25, 2014 8 Photos

  • m #14- W #91, 44 sack-ts.jpg White tops Maroon in spring game: PHOTOS

    As spring games go Thursday night's annual Maroon and White clash at Fairmont State's Duvall-Rosier went pretty much to form.
    The White (defense), using a modified scoring system which awarded them points for stops, turnovers, three-and-out series and other things, recorded a 34-21 victory over the Maroon (offense).

    April 25, 2014 7 Photos

  • FSHS girls’ lacrosse wins on Cancer Awareness Night

    “Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies. Ashes to ashes, we all fall DOWN.” 
    With that last word, “down” filling the air around East-West Stadium Thursday night, Fairmont Senior put a new play into motion and scored one of its 17 goals on the night in a 17-2 win over visiting Wheeling Park.

    April 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU depth chart sends messages

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the depth chart West Virginia University put out at the end of spring practice was that the coaches were able to put out a depth chart, which certainly is an improvement over a year ago when the Mountaineers were really short on quality players.

    April 25, 2014

  • WVU baseball hosts K-State in Big 12 clash

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series thisweekend at Hawley Field.
     Game one begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
    Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Morgan Hoke -ts.jpg Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS

    Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
    Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
    Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.

    April 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • Falcons set for spring game

    Football is back … well, kind of.
    Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Hillberry commits to Wesleyan

    Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
    Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.

    April 24, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos