Breedlove showing versatility this year

Guyer running back D.J. Breedlove (3) has shown he can be a versatile running back for the Wildcats' rushing attack, using a unique blend of power and speed to hurt opponents. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

Guyer running back D.J. Breedlove was often used last year as an outside runner, but make no mistake, he wasn’t a change-of-pace back in Guyer’s three-headed rushing monster.

Breedlove rushed for 1,126 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and missed some time with injury while finishing third on the team in both categories behind quarterback Jerrod Heard and now-departed running back Richard Whitaker, who was seen more as the downfield, straight-line runner.

This season, Breedlove could be seen as that guy. Heard described him as a guy that can punish defenders by running them over, or embarrass them by juking them and running around, or by them.In last Thursday’s season-opener, Breedlove had a stellar game against a Cedar Hill defense that returned seven starters from a 2012 5A Division II state championship game appearance. Breedlove rushed for 129 yards and two scores on just 18 carries — going inside and out — and turned in a complete effort that left his head coach searching for more ways to praise his senior running back.

“D.J. is solid,” Walsh said. “Forget about his running the other night, his blocking was awesome, too. All of my backs block well, which is unusual for running backs. D.J. had an all-around great game. He’s always been a positive-yard runner. I can’t even think of a play in 16 games last year or the other night where he gets tackled behind the line. He’s so strong and has such great vision, he’s always putting us ahead of the chains.”

So which is Breedlove, a masher or a scat-back? Heard wasn’t sure, and Walsh said it’s unwise to even try to put a label on him.

“I think you have to be careful labeling D.J. because you’ll see a little bit of everything,” Walsh said. “You’re going to see power. Your’re going to see outside and shiftiness. He’s got it all.”

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