January 20, 2011

Army Black Knight Fans: Meet DB, Duran Workman

Everything you need to know about football recruit Duran Workman can fit on his wrist. He broke it in the second game of his senior year - and continued to play the rest of season.

The defensive back out of St. Albans, West Virginia, has already given his non-binding commitment to attend West Point this summer. He had surgery on his wrist the week after his season ended, had a cast on for a month and recently had it removed.

He has been told he can resume working out in the weight room within the next two weeks.

In the one game he was healthy he made 10 tackles, three in the backfield, intercepted a couple of passes and returned one for a touchdown. In his last game of the season, a defeat in the states, he took a cheap shot on the opening kickoff and left the field with a concussion.

If left up to him he probably would have gone back in.

"Part of the game is playing hurt,'' he says of the sport.

He will report directly to West Point this summer, and the 6-footer projects that he will come in around 210-215 pounds. Having lost weight after surgery, he currently weighs in around 205.

Asked if he prefers safety or corner, Workman quipped, "I just want to get on the field as fast as I can.''

BEING A BLACK KNIGHT

The 18 year-old had a view of that field when he took his official visit last weekend. He was impressed with the entire layout.

"The facilities are top of the line,'' he said. "The best in the nation, and the No. 1 school in the United States. There aren't many negatives, other than it's hard work. But that's not a complaint.''

Marshall University, only a 30-minute drive from his home, was the only other school he seriously considered. Being comfortable with the coaches, especially his recruiting coach Gene McKeehan, was a major factor in his decision. "Coach Ellerson has the program going in the right direction, and it will be fun to be part of a program that is building and upcoming.''

In addition to touring the campus last weekend, Workman also had an opportunity to see the team play at the Navy game. That experience was just as impressive. "First of all, all the prestige and honor of that game was tremendous. It was the best sporting event I've ever been at. The respect everybody had for both teams was not just football players, but some of the greatest young people in the United States,'' he said.

"The turnover at the goal line really hurt them,'' he said about the game's turning point when Army was about to tie the score at the half but instead went off down two touchdowns. "But they didn't stop playing. They fought. I think it was a good showing, even though they didn't come out victorious.''

His high school team, George Washington, had some pretty decent years when he played. This past season in fact they were ranked No. 1 in the state before losing in that second round playoff game.

A varsity starter since freshman year, he also played quarterback, tailback, fullback and wide receiver. Because of his broken wrist he didn't play any offense as a senior.

Either way, he prefers defense. "Hitting people most importantly,'' he said. "Nothing feels better than a big hit. I like making plays. I just enjoy playing defense. I enjoy playing football period.''

A sprinter in track, Workman has been clocked at 4.48 in the 40.

There is no truth to the rumor, however, that his "blood lines'' have provided him with All-American talent and the toughness of a boxer - even though his birth name is Doak Duran Workman.

Seems his grandfather named the kid's father Doak after the All-America running back at SMU. And, if you see where this is going, he is also named after the championship boxer Roberto Duran.

Why does he call himself Duran? "It doesn't sound as bad as Doak Duran Workman,'' he offered.

Told that he kind of has a two-headed legacy to live up to, he laughed and said, "I guess you could say that.''

Two other names hang out in that neighborhood, NFL players he admires and in some ways tries to emulate. Currently it is Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu. Videos and conversations have also made him a big fan of former 49ers All-Pro Ronnie Lott.

"I play hard and I play fast,'' he said, "and I guess you can say I play nasty.''

Sounds like just what the Army likes.

As for his commitment to the military, Workman certainly understands the potential of eventually being put in Harm's Way. "It's not something you're not going to think about, but I think it's all worth it,'' he said. "This is an opportunity to become an officer, get a good degree from a good school and be able to be successful in my life.''

Even if he happens to break a wrist.


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