John Sheffield ’10 made himself known in the season opener against Georgetown last year when he came through to aid the team in hauling in eight catches for 115 yards. The halfback position is considered among the most complex in football because it requires a specific skill set for both receiving and blocking. Sheffield has the responsibility of running parallel to the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped so that he can fend off opposing offensive linemen in the beginning of the play.
By the end of last season, this 6-foot-2-inch, 235-lb. Bulldog had recorded 22 catches for 245 yards and scored one touchdown. Sheffield hopes to work his magic in this Saturday’s match against Brown at Providence, R.I.
This week, he spoke about his role on the football team.
Q: In what ways is your position crucial to the success of the team?
A:I’m one of 11 guys out there at a time. I just try to do my part. I am a cross between a tight end and a blocker. I have a lot of responsibility in passing the ball, but at the end of the day, I’m just supposed to help the team win.
Q: Do you prefer blocking or receiving?
A: Well, I don’t know if I prefer one or the other. I used to be a receiver, so my background is in catching, but really, I like both.
Q: Have you had to memorize a lot of different formations?
A: Yeah, but everyone does. It’s not that hard for me to memorize the formations, but knowing them is really important since I’m in motion before the ball gets hiked.
Q: Do you like to hit people?
A: Yes. If you don’t like to hit people you shouldn’t be playing football. It’s a really physical game, and that’s an important aspect of it.
Q: How is your training different from that of other offensive players?
A: Well, each of the players gets different training depending on their position. For instance, our quarterback on the right has to train to run faster, whereas our smaller quarterback has to focus on other things. I train differently than a running back.
Q: How strong is the offensive line? Are they making it easy for you to do your job?
A: They’re all really strong. A lot of heat has come on them this season, but they’re definitely making it easier for me. When we pass the ball, we do it as a team, and you can’t run the ball effectively if everyone’s on a different page — including me and the other offensive linemen.
Q: What are your personal goals going into each game?
A: My goal is always to do what I can to see that the team wins and to make good plays when I have the opportunity.
Q: What are your expectations for this weekend’s game against Brown?
A: They’re a really good offensive team, but our defense is the strength of our team. But if we want to be successful, we need to step up our own offensive game so we can show them what we’ve got.