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.”