Freshmen Ready to Carry the Load if Needed
Jordan Ratliffe is questionable for Saturday's game against Stevens Point
There are safer occupations than carrying the football for the UW-Whitewater football team. High-rise Iron and Steel workers, lion tamers, and motorcycle daredevils come to mind. Coming into the season, running back was perhaps the deepest position on the Warhawks’ roster. Jordan Ratliffe, Dennis Moore, and Nick Patterson have all been legitimate starters in the Warhawks’ program and all expected to get plenty of work as the Warhawks transitioned to a new quarterback and receiving corps in 2015. However, the injury bug has bitten hard and with Ratliffe’s injury last Friday night against LaCrosse, all three are sidelined with injury.
When Ratliffe is able to return to action is still up in the air. “Right now he’s working with our trainer. Things are progressing for Jordan. We will see. It will be a day by day thing until we can ultimately finalize his status for Saturday,“ according to Warhawk head coach Kevin Bullis. So what is UW-Whitewater’s Plan D if Ratliffe can’t play? “We are really fortunate. When we started the season, we had a plethora of running backs. We have had some injuries in that spot, but the fortunate thing is we have had some freshmen come in and done some really nice things for us.”
Tyler Glass, a freshman out of Lancaster, carried the load for the Warhawks Friday night after Ratliffe went down. Glass carried the ball 14 times for 93 yards, including a bruising 21 yard touchdown run in which he ran through several tacklers. The 6-0” 190 pound Glass has a bruising and physical running style. However, he has deceptively good feet for power back and is no plodder. If Glass brings freshman thunder, Jarrod Ware, a 5’10” 182 pound speedster from Bradley, IL is the lightening. Ware has gained 148 yards on 33 attempts (4.5 ypc) and scored two touchdowns. Ware has a long gain of 53 yards. Ware has excellent feet and vision. He is a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
For his part, Coach Bullis is unfazed by the current state of the Whitewater running back position. “That is the WIAC for you. It is a really physical conference and that’s always been the case. That’s what happens in college football.”