November 8, 2011

Hassin & Dixon: FB Duo Getting Ready for Rutgers

When frosh fullback Larry Dixon committed to Army 2 years ago, the 3-star prospect was exactly what Head Coach Rich Ellerson wanted and needed in that role, as the staff continued to bring in talent, create competition and depth.

And what a more perfect spot on the team than fullback, that already had one of the team's top quality players in 6-foot-3, 235 pound Jared Hassin, who eclipse 1,000 yards in 2010.

Of course, Dixon's first stop (2010) would be the USMAPS, where he continued fine-tune his talent and get acclimated to the ways of West Point, as well as Army's triple option offense.

However, upon his arrival this summer and as the season unfolded, it was clear that Dixon would not only be hard to keep off the field to receive significant reps, but also how do you keep him out of the starting lineup.

Couple that with the fact that Hassin appeared to be less than 100% physically, along with catching a slight case of fumblitis, two games ago against Fordham, Dixon was named the starter, followed by last Saturday's contest versus Air Force.

With the rushing attack churning out 340 yards against the Falcons, the dynamic duo of Dixon and Hassin combined for 110 yards, with carries of 11 and 14 respectively.

"Dixon started the last two games based on his performance," said fullback coach, Joe Ross. "Jared Hassin had a very solid first half and was in the "zone". So at that point, the staff decided to flip-flop the rotation."

When it comes to the game against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers at Yankee Stadium on Saturday and any game for that matter, the need to have a fresh legs and a body in the physically demanding position is essential.

"They're both starting fullbacks and you need two of those guys in this style of play with the beating those guys take," confirmed Ellerson during Tuesday Press Conference. "We really felt like Jared (Hassin) played well last week. Jared was running the ball really hard. He was playing as well as he's played this year. Having said that, Larry (Dixon) also played well. They got the ball out on Jared, which is devastating. That play at that position is continuing to get better. It's competitive and it is positive. I don't think we've decided who will take the first snap. We're going to have a great week of practice, but you're going to see both of those guys in equal doses."

When you look at the stats, the combination of the two rushed for over 100 yards, 95% and higher on their assignments/techniques where they had six knockdowns.

But obviously you can't accept fumbles which has become a concern when Hassin has the ball and hopefully something that will be remedied by Saturday.

Starting Nod Versus Rutgers

"It will be based on how they practice this week," declares Ross. The staff is making it competitive between the two talented fullbacks and by doing that, they both are maturing and getting better as players.

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