Power Running Will Come Thundering through Pittsburgh Again

Ivan BliminseCorrespondent IMay 15, 2009

Since the days of Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh fans have been clamoring for one thing—a hard nosed runner.

The Steelers are known for their physical play and bruising rushing attack, but since Bettis has left, no one has been able to fill the vacancy.

Willie Parker is a phenomenal back. He has had trouble staying healthy as of late and it may be related to him having to carry the ball between the tackles.

Pittsburgh drafted running back Rashard Mendenhall in 2008 in hopes of getting a back to share the load with Parker. Unfortunately, Mendenhall's rookie year was cut short after he suffered a season-ending injury at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.

Mendenhall is poised for a healthy return this season, but contrary to popular belief, he is not going to be the bulldozer the Steelers need. He has the build of a power back, but his speed allows him to be a more well-rounded of a runner. Mendenhall's patience is what sets him apart from the rest.

In steps fifth round pick, Frank "The Tank" Summers.

Summers was born Sept. 6, 1985 in Oakland, Calif. and he has always been a force.

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In high school, Summers played running back and linebacker. You can attribute his time on defense to his hard-nosed running style. Summers will not be one to shy away from contact. He instead is looking to lay the hit.

Summers was also a varsity wrestler and a three-year shotputter for his high school, Skyline.

Pursuing his collegiate football career, Summers enrolled at Cal University. Due to late enrollment at the university, he redshirted his freshman season in 2004 and later transferred to Laney Junior College.

He eventually become one of the top 100 junior college players where he was a two-time All-American. During his time at Laney, he set records for most carries in a game (48) and most carries in a single season (254).

He also set rushing records for the school for most yards in a game (280) and most rushing yards in a season (1,515).

After his time at Laney, he went on to play at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). At UNLV, Frank continued to add to his impressive resume.

In his first season, he led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns, while earning All-MWC honors. He ended his first season with the most rushing yards at UNLV since 2004.

He entered his senior season on the Doak Walker Award Watch List. For the second straight season, he received All-MWC honors.

That brings us to the present.

Summers blew away scouts at his Pro Day when he recorded a 4.55 40-yard dash and a 34.5 inch vertical leap despite his monstrous size (5'9", 245 pounds).

If it were not for a knee-injury that Summers suffered in the season finale, he likely would have been taken higher in the draft. It is rare that you find a guy with his size, speed, and power.

Summers will be used as a short yardage specialist and fullback for the Steelers. He will be a welcomed addition to the team and he also brings some versatility in the passing game. He will be able to line up as a blocker, but he also has impressive hands.

He did not drop a single pass at his eye-popping Pro Day.

Steelers fans are excited with the arrival of "The Tank," and they are hoping he can help restore a hard-nosed rushing attack that the team has been missing since Super Bowl XL.

The comparison is there. We all want to make it. Will he live up to the hype and become the "Junior Bus?" We will have to wait and see.

Until then, appreciate him for what he is. Frank "The Tank" Summers. Power rusher and Pittsburgh Steeler. The rest is up to him.

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