Under The Helmet with Nate Richam (Bowdoin College)
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Bowdoin College junior halfback Nate Richam appeared unstoppable last week on the ground, rushing for a game-high 288 yards and two touchdowns in the Polars Bears’ second contest of the season against Middlebury College.
Richam’s 288 rushing yards shattered a 42-year old single-game record, which was previously held by Jim Soule, who tallied 270 yards on the ground during a Bowdoin football game in 1976.
The third year back’s impressive performance against the Panthers earned him recognition by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) as this week’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week (Richam shared the honored with Trinity College quarterback Jordan Vazzano).
Through two games this season, Richam has rushed for 366 yards on 48 carries and two touchdowns. He is averaging 183.0 yards per game and has rushed for an additional 20 more yards than he finished with last season when he tallied 346 yards in six games.
Earlier this week, Noontime Sports caught-up with Richam to discuss his impressive performance from a week ago, as well as his outlook on his team’s offense heading into their next few contests, including Amherst College on Saturday.
Following the conclusion of last Saturday’s game, did you know you had broken a Bowdoin single-game rushing record?
I wasn’t aware that I had broken a Bowdoin’s single-game rushing record once last week’s game concluded. It wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind during the course of the game, but after the handshakes and our final huddle, a couple of my coaches approached me with the news. My reaction was lackluster, I was not trying to downplay the achievement, but at the time I really wished we had won the game. Looking back on the accomplishment, it’s definitely something that I will cherish, but at the end of the day I am just happy for all of my teammates that were on the field with me that helped me make it happen.
It sounds cliche, but what worked for you and the o-line this past week against Middlebury?
I think it was our shift to more downhill running plays. A major part of our offensive momentum was within the attitude of our plays. It was very clear what we were going to run the ball. It didn’t matter if the defense knew what was happening because we were going be more physical, and we also knew our plays were going to work.
How can you and the offense continue this ground success this week against Amherst, as well as the rest of the season?
We have to remain level headed going forward, but also remain confident about the progress we made last week. We had a very poor start to the season, but our ability to bounce back was impressive last week. Additionally, we can’t be complacent with our offensive success because there are far too many things that we will be improving on as the season progresses.
Have you ever rushed for 288 yards in a single-game before or possibly more? If so, when and where did it happen?
During my final home game of my senior year I rushed for 503 yards against my high school’s rival, which we had not beaten in four years. My offensive line beat up their front seven and from there I was off to the races.
Do you have a favorite current or past running back that you look up/have shaped your game after? If so, who is it and what makes them a great running back?
I am a huge fan of LaDainian Tomlinson and Le’Veon Bell. Tomlinson had an iconic stiff arm that would knock helmets off of unsuspecting defenders, while Bell has ridiculous patience in the hole and trusts his blockers. Bell also has a certain explosiveness to his game when he breaks free. My running style is a mix of those two players.
Have you always been a running back or have you played other positions in the past? What made you interested in being a running back?
I’ve played running back since youth league. Honestly, I just wanted the ball. I also knew no six year-olds were going to pass it, so I made sure I was in the position to carry the ball as much as possible.
What are you currently studying at Bowdoin and do you know what you like to do with that major after graduation?
I’m an economics major and would like do something in finance in the future. At this moment I’m looking into asset management.
Finally, what is a game day atmosphere like at Bowdoin? What do you enjoy most about playing in front of your hometown fans and friends?
The atmosphere on a game day here at Bowdoin is very unique. It starts with the walk bordering our campus through the pines and between towering iron gates. There is nothing like it. My favorite moments of playing here are at the end of the season when it’s very cold, but our fans are in full-form regardless of the weather. But playing at home in front of our fans is just a bonus. I love it.
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