Rob Chesson has been running all over his Anne Arundel County opponents this fall, scoring 20 touchdowns in six games. The Old Mill running back rushed for five in last week's 47-10 win over archrival and No. 5 Arundel, carrying the ball 35 times for 216 yards.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior has rushed 139 times this season for 914 yards. He's accumulated 1,261 all-purpose yards to lead the No. 3 Patriots to a 6-0 start. A veteran of the Patriots' 2008 state championship team, Chesson has been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and plans to run track in the spring to see if he can lower that time.
Towson and Buffalo already have offered scholarships, but Chesson said he will take his time and remain open to any more offers that might come his way. He is considering majoring in business or sports medicine.
How did you get started playing football?
My dad got me started. When I was younger, I did karate. I was really into martial arts. I could do back flips. And one day, because I was also into motorcycles, he bribed me. He was like, "I'll buy you a motorcycle if you try football." I was six years old. I remember my first day going there he said, "As soon as you finish, I'll buy you a motorcycle," but I liked it a lot. I never wanted to come off the field.
Did he get you that motorcycle?
Yeah, he did (laughs).
Do you remember the first time you ever carried the ball?
Yes. I remember the first game. I got an end-around and I scored a touchdown — on my first carry. Ever since then, they knew that I was going to be a great running back someday.
What do you like so much about the position?
I like the aggression, the feeling when I'm running knowing that I can use my ability to shake and juke people and use my speed to burst down field for a touchdown. It's like motivation, because, once again, when I was younger my dad used to also bribe me. "OK, you score five touchdowns, I'll give you $10 a touchdown," so that gave me motivation.
Does he still pay $10 a touchdown?
He still does. My sister does it too now. That makes me play even harder.
At 20 touchdowns, you're up to $200 from Dad. Are you saving for something?
Now, for school. And I want to save up and buy a car.
What do you think is your best asset as a running back?
I have great vision. It got better this year, but I started realizing I've got great running back vision last year. Basically, I just read everything before everybody else does. It's a special gift that I have. I just read things in a quick second. It's almost like a feeling that I have. It's a feeling that a running back gets when he knows a hole is going to be there and now he's got to get in — perfect angle, perfect timing. It's a great feeling.
Are you good buddies with the offensive linemen?
Yes. Best friends. They're really cool. I look up to them a lot. I give them inspirational quotes all the time. Before a football game, I kind of make them laugh, make them feel good. They're playing a big part on this football team, because without those guys, there's no me. Those guys are helping me a lot, so I praise them up a lot. I tell them, "You block, I run and we score." We all come together when we play as one and we all win.
¿¿After the big win last week, how do you stay focused for this week’s Homecoming game with all the Spirit Week festivities and the possibility of a letdown after the Arundel win?
I would say motivation. Even though we had a great game against Arundel, coach tells us to stay focused because we’ve got plenty more games to go, so we’ve got to take it one game at a time. I would also say that Spirit Week is exciting. You’ve got the dance. It makes us want to play even harder. It’s a fun week for us. We can go out there, have fun, play some football, be hyped.
How has your role changed now that you’re a senior and the younger guys look up to you?
I have to be a role model. I have to show them the ways, the style and the right things to do. Also with grades -- I tell them that grades play a big part, because coming in, you have to maintain GPA. I tell them you’ve got to stay focused. On the football field, I correct what they’re doing wrong and tell them the right things so they can get better and learn from me. When I was younger, that’s what the older kids did for me, so I want to give back and help them out, because that helped me get to where I am now.
Is there anybody whom you really looked up to that you modeled your game on?
I would say two people that came from Old Mill: Ryan Callahan and Josh Furman. I was on the [state] championship team behind Josh two years ago. I was a younger kid. I was behind Josh and Jason Clements. They also made me better because I looked up to them as great running backs and I also wanted to keep the tradition going at Old Mill with great running backs. I wanted to play a big part here.
How does having played on the state championship team motivate you now?
I know what it feels like, and it motivates me because I want to get back there and give the other kids that feeling that I felt. I played a big part in that game. I got a first down for us when we needed it, and I forced a fumble. I got some real good experience.
What do you do in your spare time?
I watch YouTube videos. I like to watch other teams play, see how they are and how to beat them. I also study film a lot. I like to identify my opponent for next week, find their weaknesses, find their strong spots. I like to look at things like that that help prepare me for my upcoming week.
How did you get so involved in film study?
I got into that because I know that’s what they do in college, so I might as well start now when I get a chance to. I do a little extra.
Do you watch all kinds of football YouTube videos?
I watch teams around the area, see who matches up with the best talent and I watch professionals, because I also admire Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) and before Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions) went to the pros, he played at Cal. I also admire him, because I like his running style.
What do you like about the styles of those guys and do you try to bring more of that to your game?
There's just something about their style. It's a quick finesse, smooth, fast bursts, cutting sideline to sideline, straight forward. There's a lot of different things about their running style. I pick up something different every time I see them.