Once the forgotten position in NE, the fullback has enjoyed a slight resurgence in our offense. We signed Polite, and have played Hernandez in an H-back role that includes lead blocking duties. Polite is still an excellent blocker, but his speed is nothing special, and I am not certain we resign him next year.
Apparently NE spent a long time talking with Emil Igwenagu during the East/West Shrine practices, and he projects to a fullback role in most offenses. And for a late round, or even undrafted player, I am sure he may be worth the investment if we want to emphasize a more balanced offense.
My ate round binky, however, is Shawn Asiata. Crushing blocker. Faster than the average fullback, from what I've seen. Excellent movement skills, and good hands for the catch. I think he's the ideal replacement for Polite. About the same size, but much more explosive. His performance against Georgia Tech was awesome all around, from his work in blitz-pick up, to his run-blocking, to his ability to catch the ball in key situations. He finished with almost 60 yards and a touchdown, and just played fast and physical all day long. Good looking player.
I was watching Star Lotulelei against Georgia Tech, and #34 stood out to me. That's when I first really noticed Asiata play, and I've developed a fascination with his skills in the NE offense. Here's a decent game summary if anyone wants to watch:
2011 Sun Bowl Utah Utes vs Georgia Tech HD Highlights - YouTube
Thoughts on the relevance of the fullback in the NE offense for next year? I realize it's a niche position these days, but I think it's a worthwhile investment, especially given the special teams cross-over value.