Evan Royster probably got more hype than a sixth-round running back typically gets, but any late-round Shanahan running back has a chance to be special. Royster looks to be no exception to that rule.
In his first preseason game, Royster shouldered the load for the team with 15 carries and a game-high 66 yards. His 4.4 yard per carry average was good for a share of the team lead as well, and he seemed to settle in the more carries he got.
He said after the game that playing pro football in the backyard of his childhood wasn’t really a rattle to his nerves. In fact, he was pretty much calm, cool, collected.
“It’s actually kind of comforting,” he said of his fans in the crowds. ”You’ve got some fans out there that watched you growing up, and it felt good to have some of those guys here with me tonight.”
I keep coming back to the assessment that head coach Mike Shanahan used to describe Royster after the team made him their 177th overall pick: “There’s nothing about this guy that jumps off the paper at you.”
In fairness to Shanahan, he then went on to describe everything that he liked about Royster’s play style. But the point is that Royster isn’t somebody that attracts a lot of attention to himself–he just goes out there and plays football.
While some players have narcissistic or self-promoting Twitter pictures, Evan Royster has a photo of his girl: a 2-year-old chocolate Lab named Kenya.
When I asked him what gets him pumped up for games, he said he likes to listen to his iPod. I remember listening to all kinds of stuff to pump me up before competition, so I wanted to compare notes.
But instead of pumping himself up with AC/DC or Eminem, Royster chooses mellow music to keep his cool.
“I usually listen to Lupe Fiasco or Kanye West,” he said. ”I’m not into DMX or that kind of stuff. I don’t like to get too excited. I feel like it takes energy out of me.”
“I like to be calm and collective and stuff. When your too excited that’s when you make mistakes. I like to keep myself cool.”
And so far, it’s worked, albeit quietly. Easy-going Evan lets his work speak for itself and has quietly settled into the playbook.
Speaking of the playbook, Royster got some additional light reading in during training camp. Y’know, in his spare time:
just finished reading water for elephants… great book… gonna watch the movie next and see how it stacks up—
Evan Royster (@Evan_Royster) August 04, 2011
Whether or not he jumps off the paper at you, I like Royster’s style.
Tags: evan royster, penn state, preseason, washington redskins
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