EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 14, 2012

Norwich star from Haverhill is Mr. Touchdown

Former pudgy Haverhill lineman now Norwich star back

Danny Triplett doesn’t look like a college running back. Certainly not a Division 3 running back.

But the 5-10 1/2, 235-pound fire hydrant from Haverhill has been a standout at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., for the last four years.

Asked to describe Triplett’s running style, Cadets coach Mark Murnyack said simply, “Bruising.”

Triplett was even bigger early in high school and admittedly had considerably more baby fat.

But when he looked in the mirror, he always saw a running back. When it was time for college, he let people know he wanted to carry the ball.

“Some wanted me at linebacker,” he said. “I just wasn’t buying it. In my heart, I was a running back. Typically, running backs are smaller, but I just felt I could do what they do.”

It took time for the former lineman to win people over and to get himself in better shape. It wasn’t until his senior year at Haverhill that he started being a key option in the backfield. He ran for 858 yards that fall.

After playing second fiddle to Andrew Fulford his first three years at Norwich, Triplett has been the go-to player this fall and has made the most of it, rushing for 645 yards on 115 carries for a healthy 5.6 yard average.

In yesterday’s comeback 34-24 win over Gallaudet in Washington, D.C., he scored twice, including his first career TD catch. He’s scored seven TDs for the 4-2 Cadets, giving him 24 career scores. Surprisingly few college players in area history have scored that often (see graphic).

“Honestly, it’s been great,” said Triplett, who was more of a lineman at Haverhill until his senior year.

“I was very confident. (Fulford) and I are great friends. I never told him, but he was a role model for how hard he worked. It’s carried over to my own abilities.”

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