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Stony Brook's Miguel Maysonet named preseason player of year

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet (5) cuts

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet (5) cuts back into the secondary in the second half. (Nov. 26, 2011) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The concept of a feature back at Stony Brook is nebulous at best. Senior tailback Miguel Maysonet is just fine with that.

He has no interest in carrying the ball 30 times a game. That sort of workload leads to fatigue, or even worse, injury. If he can't be on the field, he can't help a program that took a huge step last season by capturing its first outright Big South title and earning its first Football Championship Subdivision playoff victory.

Fortunately, Maysonet never had to deal with a tremendously heavy workload during his first two seasons at Stony Brook, when Brock Jackolski split the load. In 2010, Maysonet rushed for 1,128 yards and Jackolski had 1,029. Last season, Maysonet had 1,633 yards on 252 carries (19.4 per game) and 15 touchdowns in 13 games. Jackolski ran for 1,418 yards and 16 TDs as a senior.

"It's a long season," Maysonet said Thursday at the Big South's annual media day. "I believe what we do, we do it well. We run a two-back system where you're in for two or three plays. If you're on a roll, you stay in.

"I don't think the running backs are going to complain about having 1,000 yards each year."

For the first time since joining as an associate member in 2007, Stony Brook is the overwhelming pick to win the conference title, beating out perennial favorite Liberty. The big reason is the Seawolves' ground dominance, which figures to continue with the addition of Iowa transfer Marcus Coker, the Big Ten's second-leading rusher last season.

"Coker is probably the biggest running back [230 pounds] I've ever gotten to play with," said Maysonet, the Big South's preseason offensive player of the year. "He's going to complement what I do very well. He's a bigger guy, a strong guy. What I do is different. He's more of a downhill runner, I guess. I don't know what type of running back I am."

Rivals had no problems in describing the 5-10, 205-pound Maysonet. A sampling from conference coaches and players: Shifty. Quick. Speedy. Hard to tackle.

"He's a very, very strong individual," Liberty cornerback Kevin Fogg said. "If you don't get a good wrap on him, he's going to break your tackle. The main goal is to wrap him up, and if you can't get him down, let your teammates stuff him."

Maysonet could take on some of Jackolski's pass-catching responsibilities. He'll also take a turn as the main kickoff returner, which was Jackolski's role.

SBU offensive coordinator Jeff Behrman filled in Thursday for coach Chuck Priore, who remained on Long Island after the death of a family member. Behrman said Maysonet has the skill set to be an adept receiver.

"He has very soft hands and runs very good routes," Behrman said. "We don't necessarily have to throw the football. But we do utilize the running back in the pass game, and certainly Miguel can fill that role for us this year, without a doubt."

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