Countdown 2007: Catching the train

Imagine getting hit by 280-300 pounds of muscle with a metal helmet aimed at your chest. Sound like fun? According to teammates and opponents alike, it's just as miserable as you'd think.

SAN ANTONIO—He's listed as a 274-pound running back in the 2007 Texas A&M Football Media Supplement, but who knows what he'd weigh in at today. Regardless of the actual number, when he starts running downhill, he uses every single ounce as a weapon.

So what's it like being on the receiving end of that steam engine?

"It feels like getting hit with a sledge hammer," said Aggie teammate Red Bryant, who has had the misfortune of tackling Lane at practice over the past two seasons. "Imagine him coming down hill and you're coming off a block. If you're not careful he'll hurt you."

Missouri defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams played against Lane in the Tigers' 25-19 loss to the Aggies at Kyle Field last year, in a game that Lane rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown. Lane wore the Tiger defense down throughout the game with 28 carries, and was unstoppable in the second half against a tired defense.

"If they give him the ball 30 times, it's ridiculous for any d-line or linebackers (to try to stop him)," Williams said. "That's like playing four games in one game. It starts wearing on you. In that kind of game, your offense needs to put up 100 points in the first quarter they've gotta pass the ball so we don't have to worry about him at that point.

Williams also said that the combination of Goodson and Lane in the backfield makes it even tougher to prepare for Lane, which is something he's not looking forward to later this year when A&M travels to Columbia.

"He's a big dude," Williams said. "Mike Goodson is quick, he's the typical running back, you've got to run really fast to get out there and catch him. Jorvorskie Lane, you ain't going to run too fast to catch him, but once you get there you've got to brace up a little bit. He's going to bring it. I try not to think about it (during the offseason)."

But not everyone sees Lane as a slow, powerful running back, even though the only players on the Aggies' roster who weigh more than Lane are all linemen.

Nebraska linebacker Bo Ruud is one of them.

"He's a little more shifty than people think," Ruud said. "I think a lot of people think he's just a bulldozer but he really wants to get out and run like a little guy, but he's a big guy so you've got to go low and try to chop his legs off."

But that's harder than it sounds.

Lane is already among the top 30 rushers in A&M history after just two seasons at A&M with 1,320 career yards. He's No. 10 on the list of career rushing touchdown leaders and set a school-record with 19 of them last year. Darren Lewis owns the record for now with 44 career rushing touchdowns, but there's little doubt that with another season like 2006, Lane will have a chance to break the record in 2007.

Assuming he returns for his senior year in 2008, Lane will shatter the record held by Lewis since 1990.

He'll shatter many of the attempted tackles against him along the way, which is okay with Bryant.

"I know what other teams go through," Bryant said. "I'm just glad he's on my team."




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