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We own a piece of the ROCK damnit!!!

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We've all seen the pic before but it's worth a replay all the same:

cartwright.jpgThree players are trying to tackle him while a fourth lies hurting on the turf. Brings back memories of the diesel.

Here's the story that goes with it:

Wildcat senior fullback provides leadership, blocking for K-State running attack

Michael Noll

Kansas State Collegian

K-State fullback Rock Cartwright is not a passive player.

First of all, for every first down his running back Josh Scobey earns, Cartwright probably is leveling a defensive player.

"You see it on film," offensive lineman Nick Leckey said. "I wouldn't want to play fullback. There's some plays that you're just like, 'Oh geez, how could you do that?' He's delivering hits. He doesn't take a lot of hits. He's really giving them out most of the time."

Then, if he isn't blocking, Cartwright probably is making the most of his handful of carries or catch opportunities.

So far this season, Cartwright has averaged 4.8 yards carrying the ball and 9.3 yards catching it. Against Texas A&M, he turned in an acrobatic one-handed catch on the sideline on the Aggie five-yard line.

Cartwright described that play in a modest fashion.

"Jesus Christ has given me the talent to play some ball, and the guy hit me when I was open, and I was able to catch the ball, and I was able to get my feet in," he said. "It doesn't surprise me because I expect that out of myself. I expect to be a playmaker, so I try to do what I can do."

And doing is exactly what Cartwright does best. Every time the ball is snapped, Cartwright is making a play somewhere so that someone, usually Scobey, can make a play of his own.

"I just try to do what I can do just to let Josh get out there and do what he can do and let him shine a little bit," Cartwright said.

"I know if I don't do my job, Josh doesn't get the yards he needs to get. As far as myself, I'm going to do what I do the best that I can do so he can get those yards. Those 200 yards that he gained against KU, I figure I did a pretty good job."

Because of the nature of his job, Cartwright might not always get the credit he's due. When Scobey ran for 204 yards against Kansas last Saturday, Cartwright's name didn't come up that much. Scobey, however, knows just how important his fullback is to his success.

"He does a good job. He goes in there and puts his head down and opens holes for me," Scobey said. "He's a great blocker, and I truly respect what he does. I don't know how successful we'd be without him. He's so important to this offense, and he's such a major ingredient to the running game."

The bond between the two backs goes beyond the field as well. The two room together on road games and have become friends since they both arrived at K-State last season.

"Rock is one of my best friends, and he's the closest friend that I have on this team," Scobey said. "Me and Rock, we go places together. We do things together. It's more than him just being my fullback. He's like a brother to me."

That friendship also translates into solid play no matter how the team is performing.

"It's like we're going out there, and we feel like we've got to get it done," Scobey said. "If no one else gets it done, me and him have to get it done. That's just how we feel every Saturday. We always feel like we've got each other's back, no matter what happens or what goes down."

That kind of work ethic also has made leadership easier for the two running backs.

"Those two guys probably lead by example more, but when they need to step up and talk, I believe they do it," running backs coach Michael Smith said. "The offensive line kind of respects that because they don't want to be yelled at by guys that are making bad reads or not running hard."

So far this season, the duo has run hard and physically worn defenses down by constantly pounding on them. Scobey has said he gets stronger the more he carries the ball, and the same is true for Cartwright, Smith said.

"You run up in there as a linebacker and clamp in with him. It wears on you. It wears on you a lot," Smith said. "When you get pounded like that, and we're able to run the ball the way we've been running it, later in the game, those linebackers don't like running up in there too much.

"It shows on the tapes. Rock is going in there and throwing his body around, and the offensive linemen are doing the same. Later in the game, those guys are wore out, and it's a done deal. It's good to see. That means we're having success."

Such solid, physical performances also could lead to individual success for Cartwright in the NFL.

"Scouts have been here the last four or five weeks, and they ask about him," Smith said. "He thinks he's going to get slighted because of his height. I just tell him to just keep doing what you're doing, and somebody's going to get you into camp."

Even if Cartwright enters camp as a free agent, he still can make the best of his opportunity.

"Not a lot of people get the chance to do something they love and get paid a lot of money for it. Once you get in there, I always say, that's all you now," Smith said. "Somebody's giving you that opportunity.

"I think Rock's got as good a chance as anybody on the team."

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You know this is the first year where Davis will have a true fullback (to block for him).

Should be interesting.

Plus add Spurrier having his people spread the field. You can probably add another hundred or so to his season total. (hopefully more!)

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Way to go Ry!! We'll have the Rock smiling all through training camp!

Here's more on our favorite underdog draftee:

Rock Cartwright

Round: Seven

Selection: 257

Position: Fullback

School: Kansas State

Year: Senior

Height: 5-8

Weight: 242

High School: Conroe (Conroe, Texas)

Honorable mention All-Big 12 coaches selection in 2001...Team Representative during his senior season, playing in all 11 games and earning 10 starts...Lead blocker for running back Josh Scobey, who set a single-season school record with 1,263 rushing yards in 2001...Finished as Kansas State's third-leading rusher in 2001 with 303 yards at an average of 4.4 yards per carry...A threat out of the backfield in passing situations, he caught 15 passes for 108 yards (9.8 avg.) during his senior season...Rushed for a career-high 56 yards on nine carries against USC in 2001, and tallied a season-high 85 all-purpose yards against Texas Tech...Earned honorable mention all-conference honors during both seasons at Trinity Valley Junior College...His lack of height may be a concern at the next level, but he a motivated player that makes the most out of his playing time.

This is from Mel Kiper during the season:

Assisting Scobey and company will again be underrated senior FB Rock Cartwright. All the 5-8, 242-pounder does is excel as a lead blocker, while also providing a solid inside running threat. Last year, Cartwright averaged 6.0 yards per carry and also scored 5 TDs.


Draft projection: Late rounds.

3. Rock Cartwright, FB, Kansas State: The Conroe product may be the second-best blocking fullback in this draft and has 4.47 speed in the 40. The problem is he's only 5-71/2 and has to block 6-4 linebackers. He also has some running skills

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I'm guessing we've already established the ROCK as this year's Justin Skaggs?

NOT to come down on my main man justin skaggs at all....but why is everyone saying that he is UNBELIEVABLE? I mean, j skaggs didn't make the team his first year. I dont wish that upon the rock. I want this guy in heavy rotation.

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