Poston’s battle: Senior running back gets one more try at college glory

By and

He was on his way up the depth charts last season, and it happened again. For a third straight year, running back Darryl Poston would miss virtually the entire season.

In 2002, Poston played for USC and had a season-ending back injury in the third game of the season. Poston sat out the entire 2003 season with the Trojans, then transferred to the U. He earned a waiver with the NCAA, which allowed him to join the team for the 2004 season, since he had sat out a year with an injury.

At the beginning of the 2004 season, Poston injured his knee in practice and found out he would have to miss yet another year.

“At first, I was just like, not again,” Poston said.

As per former coach Urban Meyer’s rules, injured players would still have to lift weights on the sidelines in the ‘pit’ as the other players practiced.

“After a couple of weeks in the pit, I knew what I had to do to get back,” Poston said.

Instead of feeling depressed about his situation, Poston used it to his advantage.

“Any other person might feel depressed, but I think everything happens for a reason,” Poston said. “I worked on my back and my core all summer, and now I have no back pain.”

Ute coach Kyle Whittingham admires Poston’s work ethic.

“I am very proud of him,” Whittingham said. “He has suffered several setbacks physically, and he didn’t hang his head.”

At games, Poston would try to assist the team in any way he could.

“I just tried to help the guys get motivated for the games,” Poston said,

Now Poston is back and doing well in spring practice but still has a ways to go.

“He isn’t where he was back in his heyday at SC,” Whittingham said.

His legs were weakened since he couldn’t lift weights because of the injury.

“I only started lifting with my legs two weeks before spring practice,” Poston said. “I just take it day by day. I need to finish well in the spring and then work really hard in the summer.”

Hard work is probably the right description, as the Utes have four running backs vying for playing time in Poston, Quinton Ganther, Mike Liti and Joe Johnson.

His coach thinks that while he might not be an every-down option, Poston is a quick back that can break huge plays.

“He is not as big, but he is a home-run threat,” Whittingham said.

Even with a great amount of depth at the position, Whittingham feels Poston will fit into the offense come fall.

But Poston isn’t worried about the opposition right now.

“I don’t focus on the competition,” Poston said. “Right now I am just making sure I know all the plays.”

Even though Poston may have a lot to look forward to in the fall, he is just glad he is back.

“Initially the doctors said I wouldn’t be able to practice this spring, but I just thank God for letting me play.”

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