TAMPA – Speedy Lindsey Lamar doesn’t care if the Bulls tell him to go play defensive line.
That’s definitely not going to happen for the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, but that’s the senior’s mentality after all he’s been through at USF.
Aside from kick returning duties, the former Hillsborough High School star has gone from being a running back, to a receiver, back to being a running back and coaches even considered redshirting him this season in order to continue to his already impressive frame.
“It’s all good,” Lamar has continuously said.
No complaints. No slip in production and a lot of “whatever is good for the team is good for me” from a player whose goal is to see the Bulls succeed.
“The kid epitomizes team,” running backs coach Larry Scott said.
“He is a professional,” head coach Skip Holtz said.
Lamar made the move back to running – his natural position – back in fall camp and the idea of a redshirt season was tossed around while he sat out of the Bulls’ season opener. Fellow running back Marcus Shaw went down with an ankle injury in the 34-13 victory over Chattanooga and Lamar was back in the mix in practices that followed.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, but at the same time, it’s been good for me,” Lamar said. “I still came to practice every day, worked hard as if I was playing at all times. I always was ready.”
Lamar’s ready-for-whatever approach paid off in Week 2 when USF needed playmakers to step up during a comeback effort against Nevada. Lamar rushed for a 35-yard touchdown in the third quarter and he wound up with a team-high 85 yards on eight carries in a thrilling 32-31 victory.
“I think the world of Lindsey Lamar,” Holtz said.
Lamar’s second huge game of the season came last week at Ball State when he showed USF just how versatile he can be when his number is called. Along with rushing a career-high 11 times for 55 yards, Lamar caught five passes for 80 yards in a comeback attempt that was nearly pulled off again.
“I think the first two years we’ve been here being a slot receiver has helped him in those situations because he’s become more comfortable catching the ball,” offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said.
The performance included a 15-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter and 29-yard scoring catch that gave the Bulls a 27-24 lead with 4:12 to play.
“He kept his head down and continued to work,” Scott said. “Some of the success he had last week, I believe is just the tip of the iceberg. His potential can lead him the rest of the season.”
Now Lamar has at least eight more games left in his USF career and coaches are looking to get more production from a guy that’s ready to keep adding to his feel-good story. Whether or not he gets a carry against FSU this Saturday, Lamar just wants to help the team win and will stay the same guy regardless of if he makes the game-winning play or cheers on a teammate that rises to the occasion.
“Everybody doesn’t have the ability to take what team is and put it in front of themselves. He demonstrates that every day and it’s really uncommon,” Scott said.
(Photo courtesy of J. Meric / click here to go to USF Bulls Web site where story originally appears)