Redshirt-freshman fullback Realus George has something to prove in 2019.
One of only two fullbacks in the Class of 2018 to receive a Power 5 offer, George arrived in Coral Gables one year ago as the nation’s top-ranked fullback according to 247Sports and Rivals.com. As a true freshman, however, the Atlanta, Georgia native saw limited action, appearing in a pair of early-season blowouts over Savannah State and Florida International, earning him an eventual redshirt in 2018. But when Manny Diaz’s coaching staff finally took shape last winter, new life was breathed into the fullback position via incoming offensive coordinator Dan Enos’ history of relying upon his blocking backs.
Almost immediately, reports out of spring camp asserted that both George and redshirt-sophomore fullback Michael Parrott were seeing an increased role in Enos’ offensive overhaul. Following an April practice, George was asked by reporters if he was encouraged by the possibility of an expanded role. He responded by placing the onus squarely upon himself to earn playing time, not expecting it to simply fall into his lap as the byproduct of a new offensive scheme.
”When we watch film, I see the fullback in a lot of plays...and that motivates me to play a lot harder than I did last year,” George said. “This spring has been about proving to myself, and to the coaches, that I can be a guy they can depend on.”
(The full interview is available below)
George is also reinforcing his dependability in the weight room with new Director of Strength and Conditioning David Feeley and Director of Football Nutrition and Performance Kyle Bellamy. After pushing 280 pounds when he arrived in South Florida last summer, George tipped the scales at just over 250 in the spring. As a result, he’s seen an improvement in his quickness and explosiveness, which provides added mobility in pass blocking situations and presents his 6-foot, 2-inch frame as a reliable check-down target in the flat, two potential areas of importance for the fullback position under Enos.
”My pass blocking is pretty good but I have a lot of room for improvement,” George said, later in his post-practice Q-and-A segment. “(Running Backs Coach Eric Hickson) and I do a lot of work on that everyday. We emphasize our pass blocking. That’s a big part of our offense and if we can’t do that, coaches have already expressed that we won’t be playing.”
George played his high school ball at Atlanta’s Pace Academy, where he starred on both sides of the ball for the Knights while battling a brutal metro-Atlanta slate featuring opponents loaded with 4 and 5-star talent up-and-down the schedule and during the postseason.
As a senior, George rushed for 306 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. At middle linebacker, he led the defense with 43 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He chose Miami over conference foes Boston College and Virginia, along with Appalachian State and Memphis, among others.