Army's Frye wants to hammer the opposition

Army fullback Tim Frye can see it now: He takes a handoff during the Black Knights' 2006 season-opener at Arkansas State and hits the open field. The only thing separating Frye from the first down marker is a charging linebacker. Frye accelerates, lowers his shoulder and.....Wham!.....he lays the defender out and keeps running. First down, Army.

"When I run, I'm the hammer and (the defender) is the nail," Frye said. "That is it. We put (the hit) on him. Nobody puts anything on us." Frye's hard-nosed attitude the reason why Army coach Bobby Ross is using the freshman as his short-yardage back this fall. Frye is the guy who will get the call on the goal line and on third- or fourth-and-short situations.

That's a big responsibility, considering Frye, who is 5-foot-11, 225 pounds, carried the ball two times for seven yards last year. Sophomore Mike Viti remains the Black Knights' starting fullback, but he is playing on two surgically repaired knees.

So Frye gets a shot at a role that made Tielor Robinson and Scott Wesley stars the past two seasons. Robinson, who transferred to Duke last year, put up 704 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in 2004. A converted wide receiver, Wesley, who graduates in May, rushed for 528 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns last year. "I'm happy to get this opportunity," Frye said. "I have a lot to live up to, but I'm ready and prepared."

Frye showed a glimpse of his potential during Army's annual Black/Gold scrimmage in April. He set up Gold's game-winning touchdown by Michael Herndon, taking a screen pass from quarterback Tim Dunn, and running the ball to the 5-yard line.

"Frye is in the same mold as Tielor Robinson," said Ross of Frye during spring drills. "He's not as strong as Robinson was, but he's a little quicker. Frye has the capacity to do some of the things Robinson and Wesley did. I've been looking at him from the start (of spring). He's tough and done some nice things."

Frye's toughness was born while he was growing up in Charlotte, N.C. Since he was a boy, his father, Gene, has told him: "Once you get inside the 20-yard line nothing stops you. You have to score."Frye is the middle of five brothers and the boys spent much of their formative years competing. They played football in the yard, wrestled and even fought.

Frye looked good during spring drills, especially in the I-formation. He hopes to pick up this fall where he left off at Providence (N.C.) High School. Frye played fullback and running back, earning the reputation of a hard runner who routinely flattened defenders. "I don't want to say which school, I don't want to make anyone look bad," says Providence coach Randy Long, who also coached former Army star running back Carlton Jones at Northern Vance (N.C.) High. "He just kept coming at you. He never stopped."

Expect Frye to run even harder this fall.


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