Senior ready to lead final run
Senior running back Bryce Beall already has the most rushing touchdowns in UH history. He earned several preseason awards, including a selection to the Preseason Conference USA All-Offensive team. He is also in striking distance to become the all-time leading rusher at UH.
But if the Cougars are not producing wins, none of that matters to him.
“If you’re successful on the field and your team is successful, that’s when individual things come,” Beall said. “I don’t really think about that stuff. I just think about what we can do to go out there and get Ws every week. That’s the most important thing.
“If I don’t get the record and we win the conference championship, I’d be more proud than to get the record and not win any championships.”
Beall is the longest-tenured running back on the roster. He contributed as soon as he arrived, becoming the first player in UH history to rush for more than 1,000 yards as a true freshman in 2008.
Three seasons later as a senior, Beall has become one of the most outspoken players for the Cougars.
“He’s definitely matured,” running backs coach Clarence McKinney said. “He came in as a freshman and didn’t know much, but he played really great for us. He kind of had an off year his sophomore season. He rededicated himself after that year to be a leader and to be whatever the team needed.”
Beall said he spent part of the offseason studying footage of former NFL running back Marshall Faulk. When he wasn’t watching Faulk’s moves, he was trying to get a leg up on his competition.
“You’ve got to really study film and get an advantage as much as you can.” Beall said. “My goal is finishing the season. Not just starting out great, but finishing at the tail end. You do that by just focusing and more film study. Little things like that because at the end of the season teams are going to know what you do and what you run.
Sophomore running back Charles Sims was ruled ineligible prior to the 2010 season. Beall was set to receive the bulk of the carries, but Michael Hayes joined the team less than a month before season opener against Texas State.
Beall may be listed at the top of the depth chart, but will be joined by Hayes, who is back for his senior season, and Sims who is returning from his one-year hiatus.
With a trio of running backs, depth is not a concern. It is just a matter of finding ways to get them all involved.
“I’d rather have those three guys than none of those guys,” McKinney said. “It’s been great competition. The guys all get along. We’re just going to put one on the field and we’ll feel comfortable with whoever is out there.”
Last season Beall and Hayes split the workload, with Beall recording 163 rushing attempts and Hayes carrying it 150 times. Adding Sims into the mix may decrease opportunities for Beall and Hayes, but there are no hard feelings.
Their varying personalities do not allow for any jealousy.
“Mike and I are more similar,” Beall said. “We’re more goofy and out loud. Charles, in the locker room, is a really quiet dude. He keeps to himself. He doesn’t talk too much and people appreciate that about him.
“We have a great relationship with each other. We all want to see each other succeed, and that’s the best thing.”