Overtime

Running back has been quite a catch

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 1/15/19

Max Borghi played a lot of football for Washington State University during the 2018 season, and he was only a freshman. Borghi was a standout at Pomona and had all the tools to make an impact in a …

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Overtime

Running back has been quite a catch

Posted

Max Borghi played a lot of football for Washington State University during the 2018 season, and he was only a freshman.

Borghi was a standout at Pomona and had all the tools to make an impact in a Division I program but many times it takes a while for young players to adapt to college life and football.

He is often compared to former Valor Christian and Stanford star Christian McCaffrey, who now plays for the Carolina Panthers. Borghi and McCaffrey used to talk and workout together but Borghi passed on offers from Stanford and Colorado to attend Washington State.

“Overall as far as my performance, I had a decent season but nowhere near where I want to be,” said Borghi. “It was a good, fun season, for sure. I still have a ton of work to do. The season allowed me to see where I need to work on things more.”

Borghi, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back, was the team’s second leading rusher with 366 yards and eight touchdowns on 72 carries. He caught 53 passes for 374 yards and four TDs.

Probably the correct position to list Borghi as playing would be all-purpose back, since running backs in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense have to play a different role.

Leach talked about what is expected from a running back in the Washington State offense following a 31-7 win over CU on Nov. 10 in a game that saw Borghi score on a 28-yard scoring reception.

“You have to rush, catch and block,” Leach told reporters. “Not just one of the three. You have to do all three.”

That was a change which Borghi took as a challenge.

“This offense is a little bit different for a running back,” he said. “I think I adjusted well. Catching to the ball in open space is pretty nice and making the defender miss. The offense is pretty cool, it’s pretty fun to make the defender miss and just get going.

“You don’t have to take the beating of rushing the ball through the line every play. It seems like the NFL is starting to have running backs catch the ball a lot more, so that’s setting me up for success in the future.”

Borghi was looking toward the future when he graduated early from Pomona and enrolled at Washington State for the spring semester. He participated in spring football practice with the varsity.

“Mid junior year I decided I was going to do it (enroll early) and had to take double credits to be able to graduate early,” explained Borghi. “It was difficult but well worth it.

“It helped a ton. College itself is hard to adjust to and it helped me a lot in the school aspect to get used to all that so I didn’t have to do it during the season. As far as football, there was a lot of seven-on-seven, working on my speed and stuff and in the weight room working to get strong to get ready for the season. It contributed to the season I had, learning the offense and all that.”

There were more than 20 seniors from Colorado high schools who signed letters of intent to play football next season at Division I schools during the Dec. 19-21 early signing period.

Borghi had some simple advice for those players, probably something that has been preached to them many times before.

“Just keep your head down and work,” advised Borghi. “Work hard and stay humble. Nothing improves yourself more than just working hard. That’s what it takes. You are not going to make it unless you work hard.”

Jim Benton

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