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Penn State’s Mike Yurcich sees similarities amongst today’s limited finishes and the fullbacks of yesteryear

It’s been a though since the Penn Point out soccer group has leaned on a fullback to pry open holes in the functioning recreation, choose up two yards on third and one particular, and serve as a qualified security valve in the passing game. A single could argue, and several have, that Nittany Lions’ head coach James Franklin, now in his eighth year in State College, is allergic to them.

There could be an additional clarification, however.

Fullbacks could actually be tight finishes in disguise.

Fullbacks performed essential roles for Penn Condition in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Franco Harris was a fullback, and so was Matt Suhey and his son, Joe, and Steve Smith. Who can fail to remember about Brian Milne and Jon Witman. Even Zach Zwinak, a characteristic again and a 1,000-garden rusher on Invoice O’Brien’s 2012 Penn Point out, was at first recruited as a fullback.

Really do not be expecting to see any real fullbacks in Mike Yurcich’s offense. Nonetheless, the Lions’ new offensive coordinator does know the value of dual-risk restricted finishes, and Yurcich sees similarities concerning restricted finishes in today’s school football and the fullback of 30 or 40 years ago.

“Playing with a fullback, you know, no matter whether we contact him a limited close or fullback, if you are hoping to insert a ton of situations, and create that further gap, and when he’s in the backfield, you’re equipped to insert (him) in a multitude of gaps so they really do not know just the place it is going to healthy,’’ Yurcich explained all through a information meeting on Tuesday.

“So that fullback posture does give you superior angles, leverage and it enables you to enhance yourselves centered on when you’re functioning a electric power, or it’s possible you want to occur again and operate the gap scheme the other way on a counter glimpse.”

Mike Yurcich

In this 2016 file picture, then Oklahoma Condition offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich watches warm-ups. Yurcich was employed as Penn State’s new offensive coordinator on Friday. (AP Image/Sue Ogrocki)AP

The Lions made use of limited finish Pat Freiermuth extensively in their 2018, 2019 and 2020 offenses as a receiver and a blocker. He’s coaching for the 2021 NFL draft, but Penn State does return a pair of youthful gifted limited finishes in Brenton Unusual and Theo Johnson. Both Lions emerged right after Freiermuth was missing to a period-ending personal injury halfway by means of last time.

“So, the fullback does have its pros and clearly in the perform-motion pass, what men and women have obtained absent from is, you know, recruiting that sort of entire body,” Yurcich claimed.

“Because most folks now participate in with a multitude of restricted finishes and they are all earlier mentioned 6-4, you know, 6-5, and so we’re seeking to get a great deal performed with individuals tight ends and inserting people men into the line of scrimmage and attempting to make additional gaps with a for a longer period athlete that can also flex out and be a huge receiver and give you versatility with regard to 12 (one particular again, two tight finishes, two wideouts), or it’s possible even 13 personnel (one particular back, 3 tight ends, 1 wideout).”

Yurcich added: “So, to me, muscling up formations does not automatically want to be with a fullback, but I feel you can do it out of various tight close sets and get a great deal done with that as perfectly.”