EDMOND — When Jarion Tudman moved from Amarillo, Texas, to Edmond before the start of the 2010 season and saw Edmond North running back Jared Benway, he was reminded of a former NFL star known for his punishing running style.
“When I saw him the first time, I thought, ‘There's a big Mike Alstott-looking dude,'” Tudman said with a laugh.
For his part, Benway was impressed with his new teammate's speed.
“I was amazed by how fast he was,” Benway said. `“He runs a 4.3 (40-yard dash), and that's the thing we really need in the backfield is that kind of speed.”
Benway had 67 carries, 294 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore, and came into 2010 as the presumptive featured back.
With Tudman's sprinter's speed and Benway's strength and physicality, the Huskies' run attack was set for big things with the junior duo.
But during preseason practices, Benway went down with a broken leg that ended his season before it even began.
“It was tough,” Benway said. “I was really looking forward to that season, but I just encouraged Jarion, and he went out and had a great year.”
Tudman rushed for 1,299 yards and nine touchdowns in 2010 while embracing and learning from his injured teammate.
“I knew we had a big threat over there, and I wished he was playing,” Tudman said. “But I embraced him, took some of his technique and used it to my ability. He gave me some good coaching points. He's been a great asset to me.”
Benway is back for his senior season, fully healed and ready to go.
“This year we're gonna be a dynamic duo,” Tudman said.
“It's a luxury to have,” Edmond North coach Jeremy Dombek said. “They've each got to get their touches. They are different types of running backs.”
The duo can be used in a variety of ways. The Huskies can play with both of them in the backfield, with Benway lead blocking for Tudman, or can put Tudman in the slot, where he can catch the ball in the open field and put his lightning speed to use.
“We look forward to seeing how creative we can be from an offensive standpoint,” Dombek said.
Tudman said if everything goes according to plan, he expects both of them to hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 2011.
“Jared is so hungry,” Dombek said. “I've never seen a kid that wants to play high school football as bad as Jared Benway right now. He's really, really worked his tail off. He's ready to go.”
Duo they most resemble: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer running backs Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn
Edmond North's Jarion Tudman said that when he first met Jared Benway, he thought of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott, which we assume would make Tudman the Huskies' version of Warrick Dunn.
Alstott and Dunn were dynamic in the Buccaneers' backfield together from 1997-2001. Alstott was the thunder; Dunn the lightning.
During their time together in Tampa, the duo combined for 7,805 yards and 54 touchdowns.