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September 28, 1995 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-28

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 28, 1995

Tailback tears up the turf
Miami's McCullough carries ball, Redskins to victory

11 1

:)y Kyle Timmerman
,he Miami Student
Down on the field, large bodies are colliding in controlled
.:haos. A lone back fearlessly disappears into the frenzy and,
iuddenly, just when it- appears that this churning mass of
aumanity has claimed another victim, the back explodes through
a crack and is off into the record books.
In each ofhis fouryears at Miami (Ohio), Deland McCullough
4as baffled Mid-American Conference opponents with his
combination of speed, power and determination.
McCullough is currently Miami's third all-time leading
.usher and is attempting to become the Redskins' first running
back to lead the team in rushing four
years ina row.
Ohio, attended Memorial High School
where he excelled in football and track.
It was there that his mother Adele
Comer and his brother Damon
McCullough instilled in him the attitude
and work ethic that has made him such
an outstanding football player and, more
McCullough importantly, a good person.
McCullough was heavily recruited by Kansas, Kansas State,
Akron and Youngstown State. So what brought him to Miami?
"All of the other schools wanted me to play defensive back,
but I wanted to run the football," McCullough said. "Miami
offered me that chance so I took it. Besides, I figured that I'd be
able to walk out of here with a good degree."
It is now all too apparent that Miami made a smart move in
letting him carry the football instead of having him chase it.

This soft-spoken, unassuming sociology major has made
the most of his time since coming to Miami.
Besides playing football, he is also on the track team for
whom he runs sprints and the 4x 100 relay. McCullough runs
track because he enjoys the competition and can stay in top
shape during the offseason.
McCullough made an immediate impact when he came
to Miami in 1992 by rushing for 1,062 yards and six
touchdowns.
He established MAC and Miami records by rushing for
over 100 yards in each of the final seven games of 1992,
and for his outstanding performance he was named MAC
Freshman of the Year.
Despite being hampered by turf toe throughout his
sophomore year, McCullough still managed to rush for
612 yards and eight touchdowns that season.
He rebounded beautifully from his injury-riddled sopho-
more season to amass 1,103 yards on the ground last year,
including two 200-yard games against Ohio (206) and
Central Michigan (208).
This year, as the MAC's leading returning rusher,
McCullough has continued his steady performance with
two 100 yard games already under his belt.
Against Kent State he was simply unstoppable as he
rambled for 196 yards, a touchdown and MAC Offensive
Player of the Week honors.
In Miami's upset ofNo. 25 Northwestern, Deland rushed
for a hard-fought 45 yards.
"He is a great kid and a great competitor," Miami coach
Randy Walker said. "He is one of those guys that probably
doesn't say five words during practice, but who leads by
example."
Walker also feels that McCullough's attitude has more
to do with his success than does his natural talent.
"He has great skills and has made the most of them all,
but the one word that most typifies Deland is 'competi-
tive,"' Walker said. "It's for this reason that we've prob-
ably had a dozen pro scouts through here to look at him;
they see that competitiveness in him."
Despite Deland's natural competitive fire, he refrains
from singling himself out by trash talking or taunting his
opponents. He realizes that football is about the team and
not the individual.
"I have a very professional attitude when I'm out there,"
McCullough said. "I don't get into all the talk; I'm very
serious and just concentrate on what I'm doing to help the
team."
McCullough is also very confident in the team's ability
to have a successful season.
"Our chances are as good as anybody's to win the MAC
and we play some Big Ten teams that, despite what people
think, we can beat," McCullough said. "It doesn't matter
who it is, I'm going to run just as hard. It's just another
team standing in our way."
Not only will Deland be carrying the pigskin this year,
but he will be carrying Miami's MAC championship
aspirations.
McCullough will find that if he continues to rack up 100-
yard games and the team continues to win, he may attract the
attention of even more pro scouts.
Upon being asked about the possibility of playing pro
football, McCullough took amoment to gather his thoughts
and then, as is true to his character, he humbly replied: "I'll
keep doing the best I can to help the team this season and
from there ... well ... we'll just have to wait and see."

MIAMI SPORTS INFORMATION
Deland McCullough Is Miami's top offensive threat.

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