FLORENCE — Franklyn Quiteh was a fourth-string running back heading into the opening game of the 2010 season.
By the time the first game arrived the redshirt freshman was the starter for Bloomsburg University. Quiteh ran for 140 yards on 35 carries in his first collegiate game and has been reeling off amazing statistics ever since.
“It was just a series of unfortunate events happened the week of the first game and I went from fourth to first-string,” Quiteh said. “From there it’s been nothing but amazing memories.”
Quiteh has won pretty much every honor there is for a running back in Division II. He is a three-time All-American and was recently named to the Little All-America Team, which honors players from
Division II, III and NAIA.
Tonight, Quiteh has a chance for the biggest award in Division II as one of the three finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy.
“It’s been a blessing and now to be here and be part of this event,” Quiteh said. Thursday. “To be considered one of the top three players in the country is a great honor.”
Quiteh averaged 176.8 yards rushing per game in leading Bloomsburg to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Division II playoffs.
He also excels off the field with a grade point average above 3.0 with a major in communications.
“I consider myself a great student,” he said. “My parents instilled those values in me that education is No. 1. It’s a privilege to play sports, but the only thing you will have for the rest of your life is that degree.
“I’m fortunate to be able to get my degree and play the game I love at the same time.”
Quiteh has rushed for over 2,000 yards in two of his three seasons at Bloomsburg. He runs out of the I-formation and carried the ball 43 times in one game this season.
As for his running style, Quiteh said he just tried to do a little bit of everything.
“I like to make a move here and there, and I have a patented stiff-arm that I like doing,” he said. “I love it when people underestimate my speed and I’m able to hit another gear and score. There are still some things I need to work on, which I plan on addressing in the off season.”
The Hill Trophy is an individual award. Quiteh, however, said if he is fortunate enough to win tonight he will consider it a team trophy.
“If I win it wouldn’t be just for me; it would be for our team,” he said. “It would symbolize how hard we’ve worked and been selfless for the success of our team.
“I’m here representing Bloomsburg University. To be able to take that trophy back home and share with my teammates would be a great experience.”