Panthers RB aims for best season after injury struggles

06/16/2014 2:06 PM

06/16/2014 2:07 PM

Demarco Corbin is searching for redemption this fall.

A high-school career filled with such promise as a freshman has been curtailed by a series of setbacks. Injuries have curtailed what could have been a potentially historic career for the Colleyville Heritage running back.

A torn labrum in his shoulder nearly vanquished his sophomore season. A strained hip flexor derailed his junior year.

“It was very frustrating for me,” Corbin said. “I could not do the things I wanted and help my team.”

But it’s not over. As he prepares for his senior year, Corbin (6-0, 200 lbs.) changed his offseason workout routine and is stronger, healthier and more flexible.

The timing could not be better. As new coach Darren Allman settles in from Austin Westlake, he brings a different offense where the running game will be emphasized more. A running back asked to be a focal point comes into play could see 20-25 carries per game. A 1,000-yard season is one of the goals.

“I have thought about the carries and all of the hitting there will be in a game,” Corbin said. “I had (17) carries against Hebron (in the 2012 Class 5A bi-district playoff), but I know it’s going to be more of a beating, especially when we’re plying Trinity, Carroll and Coppell.

“But I’m definitely excited about it. It’s time for me to step up. If I can get 1,000 yards I would not complain at all. I just want to do what the coaches ask me.”

Corbin’s excitement is genuine because he feels as good as he’s ever felt. His offseason program consisted of that usual strength approach. But he added more stretching; he believes a lack of flexibility led to his hip flexor injury against Euless Trinity last year. Corbin finished the season with only rushing 371 yards.

“I just was never 100 percent last year, even though the trainers did everything they could to get me back,” Corbin said. “Really, the only game where I was healthy was the [opener] against Duncanville. After the Trinity game, we really eased off the running game. I just had to play through it.”

Corbin’s final high school season could mean something toward him playing in college. He’s had discussions with several major Division I programs, including UTEP and Minnesota. But the only offers he holds right now are from FCS Illinois State and Colgate.

His future recruiting could depend on how leery Division I programs evaluate his performances in the Panthers’ first four games of the 2014 season against Abilene, Grapevine, Lake Highlands and Arlington Bowie. They will first want to make sure he is healthy. That probably caused some to back off of him.

If he’s healthy, loose, productive and running a tad faster than the 4.6 40-yard dash he currently runs, then who knows what it could mean on Feb. 4, 2015, National Signing Day. His December and January – a time where some recruits can take visits – could be busy.

“As long as I stay healthy and have a great summer, then I hope I can have the kind of season that will make a difference,” he said. “If I do those consistently, then maybe we can shock some people.”

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