The 216 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries was an impressive enough season debut for Stow senior running back Nick Mutaali. But it’s even more impressive when you consider where he has been.
Last year, Mutaali played defensive tackle.
“Sophomore year I played (offensive) guard,” he said Monday at practice.
That was before the 5-foot-11, 195-pound back committed himself to off-season workouts. He ran more than he has in the past and hasn’t stopped since the season started.
Now, he tries to squeeze in eight 100 hundred yard runs and six hills into practice at least twice a week.
“I lost 20 pounds in the off season,” Mutaali said. “All the (offensive lineman) said they wanted me to play running back because that’s what I’ve been doing since eighth grade into freshman year.”
Mutaali ran lean and mean on Friday, as he pancaked numerous North Canton Hoover defenders once he reached the secondary.
The offensive lineman: Left tackle Dan Dunn, left guard Nick Oblisk, center Jeremy Light, right guard Tim Licata And right tackle Brendan Bergh took care of most of the work, Mutaali said.
“A lot of credit goes to the guys upfront they work hard every week. It’s motivating to me because I know they give me everything they got on every play so I have to do the same for them,” Mutaali said. “When you’re not getting hit until the secondary, that means the big boys up front are doing their jobs. It makes my life a lot easy.”