Back at tailback, senior Oglesby making his mark

Josh Oglesby has been a tailback and then a fullback for No. 13
Virginia Tech, bouncing around the backfield and filling whatever
need the Hokies had and always producing.

Now he’s back at tailback, playing behind David Wilson, and
seemingly the Hokies’ designated points maker in the red zone. He
has scored three touchdowns this season, one more than his career
total coming into the season, combining his tailback pedigree with
his fullback power.

Not bad for a guy who has, at times, felt overlooked on a roster
of stars, but who now can count of getting the ball when the No. 13
Hokies (2-0) play Arkansas State (1-1) on Saturday.

”I came from a program that had a lot of good players, so I’ve
just always been kind of competing with the best, so I knew I had
to bring that attitude here to Virginia Tech,” the senior from
Garner, N.C. said. ”They’re known for their great running backs,
so when I came in, Branden Ore was here. I came in with Darren
Evans, Ryan Williams followed, then David Wilson came along. It’s
competition, you know, playing at one of the premier powerhouses.
That’s pretty much what I asked for, so I just know I just got to
come ready to work every day.”

And it’s that work ethic that has mostly kept him relevant for
the Hokies. Ore left school after the 2007 season, when Oglesby was
redshirting. He was No. 2 behind Evans in 2008, No. 2 behind
Williams in 2008, when Evans was hurt, and moved to fullback last
season when both Evans and Williams were healthy and Wilson, the
fastest of the three, also joined the rotation.

Thoughts of finishing his career elsewhere entered his mind, and
had he not been certain that Evans and Williams would both leave
after last season, he might have explored them.

”Who wouldn’t?” he said of a year in which he carried the ball
just six times for 48 yards and had one 7-yard reception. ”It
would be my last year. I knew I’d be getting my degree so options
to play elsewhere would be available so I did think about it and
play around with it.”

When both opted for the NFL, he stayed, delighting coach Frank
Beamer.

”It hasn’t always been easy, but he’s hung in there and is
having a great senior year,” he said. ”He’s putting the team
first like he’s done all along. He’s unselfish but he wants to
contribute and be a leader, and I think he’s doing a great job of
doing that and contributing.”

Oglesby has carried 19 times in two games, and scored on runs of
4, 1 and 10 yards.

”Those runs are pretty good,” Beamer said. ”He’s got good
balance. He gets knocked around a little bit but he keeps falling
forward and not knocked off his feet. Good back.”

He’s also remained unselfish, proud of being able to do more
than just carry the ball.

”Sometimes we’ll be in formations where a fullback’s in the
game and it’s already predetermined that one back will block,” he
said. ”I don’t mind just going ahead and lining up at the blocking
spot because I feel like I do block the best out of all the backs,
so I don’t mind just going and getting there because ultimately I
could spring a play that makes us score a touchdown.

”I feel like my blocking is a great asset.”

This season, his running has been, too. He shares the team lead
in scoring with Wilson, whose touchdown runs of 20, 19 and 3 yards
all came in the opener against Appalachian State.

”I do feel like there’s a lot of things I do have to prove to
people,” Oglesby said, admitting there’s something of a chip on
his shoulder. ”I know I’m not the fan favorite, but I do have
abilities that I like to show, goals myself that I’d like the
achieve this year.

”I just think about those things when I get in the game and try
to make something happen.”