Maurice Clarrett, watch your back. Florida tailback DeShawn Wynn is on your cleats. And unlike you, he's not slowing down.
"DeShawn Wynn?" backup tailback Ciatrick Fason said. "I think he's better. I've seen both of them. I'm just excited for Deshawn to show what he can do in conference play."
Wynn may have been runner-up to Ohio State's currently suspended phenom for the state's highest high school football honor, but he's starting to make a late statement – even as a backup.
While senior Ran Carthon remains Florida's starter, the redshirt freshman proved Saturday against Florida A&M that he's plenty capable of the role as soon as he's called on.
For more than 18 minutes during the first half, Carthon left the game with a bruised shoulder. Wynn came in. He scored three touchdowns.
"When you see him doing things, when you see him in the weight room, you see how powerful he is," Coach Ron Zook said. "He has a low center of gravity and a lot of God-given ability. He's a powerful guy who can run. He's just getting a feel for it."
Just getting a feel for it? By the night's end, Wynn became the first freshman in Florida history to score four touchdowns in a game. He's the first Gator to accomplish the feat since former quarterback Jesse Palmer did it in 2000.
Of five tailbacks to see action (all of whom had more than 30 yards), it was Wynn who led the pack with 95 yards. He sparked a total rushing performance that actually out-gained the Gators' passing game.
Florida picked up 309 yards on the ground and threw for 227 yards. Reason being, Wynn said the Gators were effective in driving through the middle and creating holes.
"That's my type of football," Wynn said. "That's what I played in Ohio – just smash-mouth football. We just tried to pound it down and get them tired in the first half."
In high school, Wynn ran for 2,000 yards in three of his four seasons at a low-profile school in Cincinnati. Two years later, after spending a year on the scout team, Zook said he'll will start to see more and more action.
"It's not a big high school where he went," Zook said. "So the first game he played in was the first time he's been in big-time competition."
Against San Jose State, Wynn had six carries for 19 yards. Against Miami, he broke out for 100 yards on eight carries. On the first play of the second half against the Hurricanes, he exploded for a 65-yard touchdown run.
"I'm a lot more comfortable now," Wynn said. "I know when I get in, I have to keep the intensity up. I was ready to jump in and make the best of the opportunity."