Carrying the Load: Huesman proving his toughness at UTC - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Carrying the Load: Huesman proving his toughness at UTC

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Jacob Huesman isn't your typical quarterback.

At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, the redshirt freshman isn't looking to slide when he gets into the open field.

He's looking for contact.

"Being a quarterback, you never get an opportunity to punish anybody or hit them, so it's kind of rewarding to keep getting back up after they knock you down," he said Tuesday with a smile. "It's kind of like saying, 'You guys can't hurt me.'"

Huesman wasn't hurt, but admitted being "pretty sore" after carrying the ball 26 times for a UTC freshman record 170 yards in last week's loss to Georgia Southern. Still, Huesman said he'd "carry it 500 times if it meant helping us win."

The former Baylor School star has seen his role grow each week as a dual-threat in the Mocs' new spread offense, recording nearly 90 more rushes this year than any other Chattanooga player.

That also means he's taking more hits than any other skill position player.

"People always worry about the quarterback," head coach Russ Huesman joked. "No one's worrying about that running back who carries it 35 times a game. No one's nervous about that. They want us to keep giving him the ball. But a quarterback they're worried about.

"(Jacob) is a tough kid. I know he's sore after games, but everybody's sore after games. Defensive tackles get hit every play and nobody's worried about them. I should be the one who's worried about him. I'm his dad."

And yet, Russ has no concerns about Jacob shouldering the load at UTC. He knows better than anyone how tough his quarterback is.

He helped make him that way.

"I think part of it, too, was his relationship with me," Russ said. "I never used to let him not hustle. Jacob will tell you. I remember car rides home where he was just bawling, crying, because I was on him after little league baseball games.

"If he wasn't doing something right, he heard about it. He used to not like to get in the car with me."

Jacob remembers all right, and he cringed at the mention of those rides home.

"Oh, all the time. All the time," Jacob said quickly when asked if he tried to ride home with his mother after games. "As a kid, no kid wants to sit there and listen to a talk."

But he did. Time and time again.

The lessons and lectures continued into high school. That is, until UTC started recruiting him.

"He didn't really correct anything I did in the time they were recruiting me," Jacob said with a smile. "It was always, 'Good job, Jacob.' My mom would ask him why I wasn't doing well in a class, and he'd just say, 'I don't know. I think he's doing fine.'"

And so far, Jacob's doing more than just fine in his first year on the college gridiron.

Twice in the last three weeks he's been named the SoCon Freshman of the Week, and he's on the verge of shattering most of UTC's freshman records at his position.

All thanks to some lengthy lectures from his father and coach.

"It was good for me, honestly," Jacob said. "I'd much rather he say that to me then. I mean, I was a kid and I didn't like it, but it worked out for me in the end."

Seems to be working out well for his father, too.

"He's a tough kid. He's a good kid," Russ said with a grin. "He's always been a great kid. Just a lot of fun to be around."

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