TAHLEQUAH — Lane Dortch loves lending a hand to those in need. It’s fitting, then, that he wants to be a firefighter once he wraps up his college education at Northeastern State.
It’s also quite appropriate that he specializes at the fullback position for the RiverHawks. Nowhere else on the field is he more apt to help other players out. After all, Dortch’s main role is to set lead blocks for a running back or protect the quarterback from a blitzing linebacker.
“You’re just putting yourself out there for other people,” said Dortch while describing the duties of a fireman while also summing up the fullback position.
“...I love to help people. And if I can go out there and save somebody’s life, I think that’s something I would enjoy.”
For now, Dortch, a former standout at Fort Gibson High School, will have to settle for assisting on NSU’s offense.
Getting the bulk of the work at fullback in the spring, Dortch will settle into a back-up role during the 2013 season. Dortch will be backing up Nick Whitlow, who was granted an extra year of eligibility.
“Hopefully I’ll get some time on special teams, too,” said Dortch, a 6-foot, 220-pound redshirt freshman. “I just have to keep getting better and possibly try and get more playing time as a sophomore.”
But as NSU head coach Kenny Evans pointed out, Dortch is closer to regular playing time than he thinks.
“Lane has a chance to be a three-year starter,” Evans said, “and he’s always one play away from being a full-time starter.
“He still has to adjust to the game, but he did a good job of that in his first year.”
When it comes to mentors on the RiverHawks’ offense, there aren’t many better options than Whitlow.