There is a great scene in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy with the main character introducing himself. When he introduces himself, they look back as him confused and say "Who?"
That is the way people respond when finding out that one of the top rushers in the FBS is Larry Rose III of the New Mexico State Aggies. The questions always come. Who is he, how did he end up at NMSU, is he really that good?
New Mexico State Aggies sophomore Larry Rose may be the best running back you have never heard of. He has the rare ability to bang around inside while also taking any carry to the house. He plays much bigger and stronger than he is listed.
The sophomore running back has been a supernova of light in an otherwise dark season for the Aggies. After eight games, he sits at seventh nationally with 1,083 yards rushing. The only Sun Belt running back with a higher rushing yards total than Rose is Georgia Southern's Matt Breida.
Rose's ranking only drops to ninth nationally in average rushing yards per game with 135.4 yards per game. A 7.74 yards per carry average is fifth nationally, behind Breida, Cook, Chubb, and Linwood; just above the average of Heisman favorite Leonard Fournette.
The 5-11, 184 pound Fairfield, Texas native was somehow completely overlooked after a senior season that saw him rush for 2,924 yards and 49 touchdowns. Rose was named the Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year and also a First team All-State selection and ended his high school career with just over 4,300 yards rushing and 65 touchdowns.
Despite those gaudy statistics, Rose was still waiting waiting for his first FBS offer in the middle of January. Finally, with just over a week left until signing day and only holding an offer from Abiline Chrisitian, Rose was greeted by the New Mexico State coaching staff. Martin and company liked what they saw from Rose and offered his one and only FBS scholarship. On national signing day, Rose signed his college football future to the Aggies.
With very few expecting him to see much playing time as a last second addition to the recruiting class, Rose surprised everyone and picked up the college game immediately. Not only did he see significant playing time, Rose was the first running back for NMSU to break the 1,000 yard mark since 2011. In addition, his freshman season saw him become one of only six players in the Sun Belt to rush for more than 200 yards in a game with 229 versus Louisiana Monroe.
The 2015 season has slowly seen Rose creep to the forefront of not only the Sun Belt, but all of the group of five running backs. The sophomore has rushed for 186 versus UTEP, 260 versus New Mexico, 212 versus Idaho, and 180 versus Troy. He has only been held to fewer than 60 yards rushing in one game, a 52-3 loss to Ole Miss.
Rose's 1,079 yards rushing is 937 more than the next highest rushing total on the team. Everyone knows and expects he is going to carry the ball and he is still successful, expressed by the fact that he has lost only 34 yards on rushes for the entire season.
While also active in the passing game with 22 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown this fall, Rose has turned into a complete back that should compete for many postseason awards.
If you have yet to check out New Mexico State this season, do so if only to see one of the most dynamic and fun to watch players in the nation. You will not be disappointed if you spend a night watching Rose carry the football.