BOWLING GREEN - Twice this season a play has been sent into the Bowling Green State University huddle calling for Pete Winovich to run the football. And each time Winovich asked for confirmation.
"I always have to look over and make sure their call is right," Winovich said. "I'm like, 'That's right? That's right?' "
Winovich is no longer confused about his role on the team.
After dabbling at various spots on the field early in his career, Winovich is enjoying the steady work he gets at fullback, a position he has coined "pseudo lineman" in BGSU's passing system.
"Essentially, I have the best position because I get to go out and pound on linebackers. I might get one or two carries a game and I might get a pass thrown to me," Winovich said. "How many other people can do that on the field?"
There aren't many players like Winovich, whose versatility factored into his failing to find a fit with the Falcons early on. Recruited as a quarterback out of Jefferson Hills, Pa., Winovich moved to tight end a week or two into fall camp during his freshman season. He played linebacker as a sophomore before switching to tight end in the spring. But before the 2006 campaign, he became a fullback.
Through it all, Winovich's only regret, one shared by his coach, is that he never redshirted.
"He's made some sacrifices trying to find a home in our schemes and he's found it now," coach Gregg Brandon said. "If he would have redshirted it would have benefited him and it would have given us more time to evaluate what his best position would be."
There was a time when Winovich was bothered by the "jack of all trades, master of none" label. Now he embraces the many ways he can contribute, whether it's on special teams, blocking for a running back, picking up a blitzing cornerback or getting involved in the passing game, as he did Saturday with a 10-yard reception against Temple.
"Most likely I'm not going to be MAC player of the week for perfect blocking, but I can still do my job and that's nothing to get down about as long as it helps the team win," Winovich said. "In 20 years from now are you going to remember how many plays you played or how many catches you had in a game? No. But if we win a MAC championship and help the team go to a bowl game, are people going to remember that? Yeah."
Winning the Mid-American Conference championship is something Winovich believes would overshadow any personal accolades he may have achieved had he played a more traditional career. He came to that conclusion two years ago while watching BGSU's 1985 MAC championship team being honored before a home game.
"From that moment on I always said I don't care what I have to do, whatever it is, I want a MAC championship," Winovich said. "That's how we want to be remembered within our senior group."
Contact Ryan Autullo at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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