Plenty of folks complained about the presence of fullback Vonta Leach at No. 45 on NFL Network’s Top 100 list. But there’s an argument to be made that Leach should have been even higher.
At Leach’s football camp in Robeson County, North Carolina, a current teammate and a former one sang Leach’s praises, loudly.
Ravens tackle Michael Oher shared with the Fayetteville Observer a story from last season’s Thanksgiving night game between the Ravens and 49ers.
“Patrick Willis, my college teammate, is a monster and a real beast at linebacker for the 49ers,” Oher said. “He’s usually the one running over people. But Vonta ran up to that man and just leveled him. After we watched the film the next day, I had to give Patrick a call. I think Patrick and I both agreed that Vonta is definitely the best fullback in the league, without a doubt.”
Oher thinks Leach should be getting broader acclaim. “The way he runs over people is unbelievable,” Oher said. “He’s just like another offensive lineman in there, only a little faster. I know he made All-Pro, but he really doesn’t get the credit he deserves.”
Texans running back Arian Foster agreed.
“The fullback is the unsung hero,” Foster said. “He gets people out of the way and does all the dirty work. . . . Vonta was my fullback for two years. He’s the best in the game, and I missed him. It was hard to see him go, but you can see he’s just doing the same great job for Ray [Rice] and the Ravens now that he did for the Texans.”
Although Leach humbly said that Foster and Rice have helped make Leach look good, he was candid about the importance of a good fullback to a winning team. “Most people don’t pay attention to what the fullback does,” Leach said. “But if you look at the teams that are always playing in November, December and January, they all have good fullbacks. And when you make blocks like that one [against Willis], you make people start paying attention to you.”
If Patrick Willis is paying attention to Leach, then everyone should.