Standing 5 feet 8 and weighing 192 pounds, Loyola senior Scott Brown is not the area's biggest tailback.
He's not the fastest either.
And the Division I schools that are recruiting Brown envision him with a lacrosse stick in his hand rather than a football.
But, despite these factors, Brown is having an outstanding season that has been as surprising to some as the Dons' success.
Surprising to whom? To Brown, for one.
"I felt I'd be successful, but not to this level," said Brown, who is being recruited to play lacrosse at Maryland, Navy, Princeton, Penn and Delaware, among other schools.
Brown has rushed for 1,058 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead Loyola (3-7 in 1993) to a 4-2 record and a No. 9 ranking.
After doing some math, Brown's numbers seem even more impressive: 176.3 yards per game, 7.5 yards per carry.
Not bad statistics for a player who saw limited action last season, finishing with 464 yards on 92 carries.
So how does one explain Brown's performance this season?
"Sheer effort," said Loyola center Ian Hunt, who has been a friend of Brown since the seventh grade. "He just refuses to go down. It's not uncommon to see one person hit him and he keeps going. It takes a gang tackle to bring him down. He's not the strongest or the fastest, but he's amazingly determined."
That's not to say that Brown isn't a fine physical specimen.
"He has the things that good running backs need," Loyola coach Joe Brune said. "Good strong legs, big thighs and good hip strength."
Brown also has a talented and experienced offensive line, led by Hunt and guards Justin Flint and Gabe Mamock.
"As an ex-lineman, I'd prefer to say the line is the key," Brune said. "But good backs like Brown complement the line. They give him some good blocks and he helps them out with his moves."
When discussing Brown's finer qualities, however, it doesn't take long for Brune to echo Hunt's sentiments about Brown's determination.
"He's successful because he wanted to be successful and he's worked hard at it," Brune said. "He has something to prove."
Brown's desire to prove himself stems from his feeling last year that he was playing in the shadow of Reggie Boyce, who since has transferred to Dunbar.
At the beginning of last season, an injury sidelined Boyce and thrust Brown into a starting role.
"Brown played well, but I don't think he was comfortable in the situation," Brune said. "He had difficulty adjusting mentally. He was kind of looking over his shoulder, wondering when Boyce would get back in."
When Boyce returned, he and Brown shared playing time. Gradually, however, Brown's role diminished and Boyce flourished.
"When Reggie left, I knew I would shoulder some of the burden," Brown said. "For myself, I wanted to prove that we could be successful. I worked out all summer."
And Brune sees a direct correlation between Brown's summer workouts and the Dons' ability to wear down opposing defenses.
"What most impresses me is that in every game we've played, his best running has been late in the third quarter and the fourth quarter," Brune said. "That you can attribute to his hard work during the summer to get ready."
Said Brown: "The offensive line was out there with me all summer. They're still opening holes in the second half like they were in the first quarter. Neither of us gets tired."
Nor does Brune when it comes to praising Brown.
"In many ways, he's ideal," Brune said. "He does well in the classroom [3.5 GPA]. And he has a great attitude. He convinced the other players that we could turn it around this year."
Said Hunt: "He's one of the people who sets the standard. He goes 100 percent on every play in practice. And it makes everyone else do the same."