Warmack Enjoys Blocking Role
"I can feel him," said Alabama left guard Chance Warmack. "You can feel 230 pounds coming up your back."
Last week at Ole Miss, Warmack and his offensive line mates got the job done for Trent Richardson. The Bama tailback, considered a Heisman Trophy candidate, rushed for a career high 183 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. He was named Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week.
"Trent would be the first one to tell you that the offensive line had a lot to do with that," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. Richardson's runs included a highlight reel play, a 76-yard touchdown dash that had a little of everything – power, speed, and a change of pace move at the end that left a defender throwing up his hands in frustration.
Warmack, a 6-3, 320-pound junior from Atlanta, said that the accolades for Richardson get the attention of the offensive linemen. "It's crazy, man," he said. "We're in the same class. This is like family, you know? Family within family. I saw him coming in being recruited just like me. For him to get all these accomplishments, that makes me feel good as a person, not just as a player. I'm rooting for him and I hope he gets whatever he deserves, because he deserves it."
Warmack said it's good to block for Richardson in part because "he's a good guy. He's like a little kid when we're in the huddle, always laughing and smiling. You can't not block for a guy like that. A really good guy. He helps us with what we need to do or work on. He's really a good leader. He's always willing to hjelp."
Warmack believes the secret to Richardson's success is that he has fun and enjoys the game.
Warmack was one of seven Alabama players selected for player of the week by the Crimson Tide coaching staff, and one of three on offense. He was joined by Richardson and quarterback A.J. McCarron. Warmack received the top grade among offensive linemen as the Tide had 615 yards of total offense. He had no missed assignments, no penalties, no pressures, and no sacks, and was credited with five pancake blocks.
Warmack didn't have an answer as to why he played so well.
"We all felt we needed to do well," he said. "I just wanted to do well, like I always do in every game and every situation. It was just another game for me. I always want to get better as a player and do whatever I can for my team. So that's all I wanted to do."
Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "Chance has played better and better and better each week and probably just had his best game. He's a very physical player. I think that our offensive line has really sort of improved, and as they've improved, we've improved as an offensive unit. Chance is a big part of that. We've just got to keep those guys going in the right direction, and I think we can have success offensively based on our ability to control the line of scrimmage and protect the passer and not let the other team affect the quarterback."
Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman goes against Warmack in practice. "Chance is a great player," Chapman said. "When he came in as a freshman, I kind of took him in. The guy likes to learn and he likes to work. He is a great player. I hate going against him. I don't like giving the (offensive) linemen props or anything, because I feel I always win, but the guy gets after me a lot. Day in and day out, he's fighting me."
Chapman weighs well over 300 pounds and is one of the strongest men on the Alabama football team. Compare that to the Ole Miss cornerback who had to take on Warmack as he pulled and came around the corner in front of Richardson on a touchdown run.
"Ahhhh," Warmack said. "That's what I live for, man! That's what I live for. Whenever I get a chance to pull, I try to get real revved up for it. I enjoy blocking for my running backs."
That particular block was like a windshield against a bug as Bama rolled to a 52-7 win over the Rebels. So did the cornerback scream?
"I don't really know," Warmack said. "I was on top of him."
This week Warmack and company will host Tennessee at 6:21 p.m. CDT Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. ESPN2 will televise the game. Bama is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference games and ranked second in the nation. Tennessee is 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
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