Mostert ready to run with the starting job

Purdue running back Raheem Mostert hopes to be the Boilermakers' starter. One of the fastest players in college football is feeling more confident than ever before.

WEST LAFAYETTE—Senior running back Raheem Mostert continues to make the transition from track to football during the spring season.

Mostert won a Big Ten meets in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash, perhaps cementing himself the fastest player in college football.

"[The spring] has gone pretty good," Mostert said. "I improve each and every day. It is kind of hard making that transition from track to football and football to track. I just have to work and come out here and improve."

Mostert continues to work back into football shape after coming off the track meet over spring break. Having defenders tackling you makes the sprinting a bit different.

"I'm in football shape," Mostert said. "Track shape is all the running and football shape you have to put on pads so I'm trying to get used to that."

According to Mostert, although the transition gives him more to work on, the track season has prepared him for the upcoming season as a running back by giving him more confidence as a player.

With a Big Ten wins under his belt on the track, he hopes there will be some on the football field. It's hard not to have a little more confidence after a successful track season.

"Last year we had that season and I wasn't confident in myself," Mostert said. "My ability to move from wide receiver to running back was hard with that transition but now I am starting to adapt to it, and track really did help a lot.

"I boosted my confidence a lot and I felt as though I could carry that into football and go back into track. Right now I'm just focused on football and getting into football shape and getting that mentality."

Running back coach Jafar Williams agrees that Mostert has improved as a player from last season.

"When I got [Mostert] last year, he was still in that receiver mode which is a little different," Williams said. "He progressed a lot this season. He wants to plays fast all the time and that's where track kind of crosses over but I think a guy like him brings a little bit of him physical play with a guy who has ability to play fast as well."

Williams hopes Mostert will develop into a combination of power and speed, which is what the team is looking for. Williams also wants to running backs to be the leaders for the team.

Mostert states that anyone can be a leader on the team, whether a player is making plays or just being behind the offence cheering the team on while on the bench or sidelines. According to Mostert, he is developing as a leader.

"I'm not having a year like I did last year, especially as a senior," Mostert said. "That was hard and I feel bad for the seniors who went through that last year. No senior wants to do that, especially me."

As coaches look for leaders on the team, Mostert claims he separates himself by adding his own twist.

"I have that confidence in myself and I believe in myself and if you believe in anything you can do it," Mostert said. "That is the attitude I go with and just try to improve each and every day. It separates me personally from the others.

While Mostert boosts his confidence, Williams continues to search for the starting running back through the spring season.

Senior Akeem Hunt was Purdue's leading rusher last season, but he only averaged 38.7 yards per game. The Boilermakers totaled 67.1 rushing yards per game last season.

After moving from receiver, Mostert saw limited carries at tailback. He hopes that changes this season.

"I'd like to come out of spring with a number one guy," Williams said. "Someone who can protect, run routes, and run the football and that's what we are striving for."

With Mostert's senior season approaching, and the chance to be the Boilermakers' top rusher, he's ready to run away with it.

"[The coaches] see I have some potential and they are giving me opportunities," Mostert said. "I am trying to take full advantage of it. Coach doesn't want me to waste it."

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