Originally created 09/22/04

Virginia's Lundy spends quality time in end zone



CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - There's a joke making the rounds at Virginia that Wali Lundy is scoring at such a high rate, coach Pete Gillen could use him on the basketball team.

Three games into the season, Lundy has already run for nine touchdowns - three in each game. His 18-point average is tied for the most in the nation, and only six other Division I-A teams have run for more touchdowns than Lundy.

Quite a performance for a running back who's tough to categorize.

"I don't think you can really put me up there as a big back, a powerful back, because I don't run everybody over on every play, and I'm not the fastest guy on the field," the junior from New Jersey said. "I think I'm right in the middle."

Even coach Al Groh can't adequately describe Lundy.

"People say define him or why do you like him. Obviously, it'd be pretty dumb if I couldn't give you some specifics, but basically I just say, 'I just like him,'" Groh said. "I just like the way he runs.

"He's got a good vision, he's got a good toughness, he's got a good burst, he's got enough wiggle. He's willing to take them on, but he tries to make them miss."

Lundy has 33 touchdowns in 29 career games, and has scored three in the same game eight times. It's a reliability that quarterback Marques Hagans appreciates.

"He does it all - block, run, catch. What more could you ask for?" Hagans said. "He makes people miss in the open field, picks up blocks in a blitz, runs the ball with authority, speed, catches it out of the backfield. He's just a complete back."

At 5-foot-10 and 214 pounds, Lundy knows his penchant for getting into the end zone will make him a marked man for defenses intent on being the first to turn him away.

"I expect it," he said, "and I'm ready for it."