BenJarvus Green-Ellis

BenJarvus Green-Ellis is as tough an interview as he is a running back. The soft-spoken tailback, who answers questions by the media in a measured way, appears to only want one spotlight - on the football field. Read about it inside.

To BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the talented tailback on the Rebel football team, it appears interviews are something he'd rather not be doing.

It's not arrogance. He's not rude. He has a sense of humor. He indulges every question. He's friendly. He obliges the ordeal. He's not stand-offish.

He just doesn't have a lot to say.

BenJarvus, you see, would rather be spending his time doing what he does best. Playing football and trying to get better every minute of every day.

For him, it's all about "team" and "getting better" and "doing the best I can to help the team."

Ask him about his spring, to this point, and he deflects the attention to something else.

"I'm just one piece working within the system doing the best I can," he says, abruptly stopping there as in "that's all I have to say about that."

Pressed about his views on his ability, he grades himself harshly.

"I'm good, but not great, so I have to continue working. Great is my goal," he notes.

When asked about the new offense under Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner, he smiles.

"Whatever he dials up, I will run to the best of my ability," BJGE remarks. "If he likes a play, I love it. My job is to give it my all on anything he calls. I like Coach Werner and what he's bringing to us offensively."

Was he "discouraged" any last year when he had to sit out due to transfer rules after gaining around 1,800 yards in the Big 10 at Indiana his first two years in college?

"No, it was a learning process. Coach O gave me a lot of reps last year on the scout team and that helped me a lot," the 5-11, 211-pounder said. "I knew when I transferred that I had to sit out. Why worry about it or get discouraged? It was what it was. I used my time to get better and to learn about my new environment."

In last Saturday's scrimmage, he had a couple of runs where he ran over defenders to get into the end zone. No big deal - it's what he's supposed to do.

"A running back should win one-on-one battles, whatever it calls for. If the situation calls for running over someone, I will lower my shoulder and try to do it, whether it's a defensive lineman, linebacker or DB," he explained. "It's my job."

But don't let BenJarvus' quiet, measured demeanor with the press fool you. He's one of the more popular players on the team.

"We respect him and like him because he comes to work every day and he has a no-nonsense approach to football," said LB Patrick Willis. "BenJarvus is cool, a good guy. He doesn't run his mouth - he just plays, and plays hard. You know when he's coming at you that he means business. You better get ready for a collision because he's right there to give you his best shot and to take yours."

BenJarvus said he doesn't really have a style and doesn't compare himself to other backs.

"Running the football is instinctive to me. I believe I can use power and speed to my advantage, it's just whatever that instant calls for," BJGE added. "My goal is to become a complete back - running the ball, blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield. I don't know who I am like, I just know what I want to get done."

BenJarvus has an opportunity to be a big factor in ressurecting the Rebs' anemic rushing game from a year ago.

He's as talented and driven as any back the Rebs have had since Deuce McAllister. He has individual goals, but they are based on being the best he can be for the benefit of the team, not for headlines.

The fact that he's reserved simply adds to his mystique.

He has only one "problem." If he continues on his current path, he better get used to the attention and the interviews.

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