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Senior Bowl Interview: RB Dylan Laube could answer Browns needs from small school

All-Star game showcases young talent

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Are the Cleveland Browns happy with their running back group? Hopefully, Nick Chubb will return. Jerome Ford has either been great or a disaster depending on who you talk to. Pierre Strong showed flashes but played sparingly. John Kelly has been up and down from the practice squad.

RB Dylan Laube would become an instant success with the Browns offense which runs a 4.46 in the 40. Highly-decorated back. Here is a list of his awards:

  • 9x All-American: Athletic Directors Association All-America Team (Return Specialist) ... Associated Press All-America First Team (All-Purpose) ... American Football Coaches Association All-America First Team (AP) ... Stats Perform All-America First Team (AP) ... FCS Football Central All-America First Team Offense (AP) ... Phil Steele All-America First Team (Punt Return, AP) ... Phil Steele Second Team (Running Back) ... Phil Steele Fourth Team (KR)
  • Walter Payton Award Finalist
  • Phil Steele Special Teams Player of the Year
  • New England Football Writers Association All-New England Team (running back & punt return specialist)
  • CAA Special Teams Player of the Year
  • CAA First Team Offense RB / PR
  • CAA Second Team Offense KR
  • CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week (9/25/2023)
  • Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week (9/11/2023)
  • Shrine Bowl Offensive Breakout Player of the Week (9/11/2023)
  • New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award (9/11/2023)
  • CAA co-Offensive Player of the Week (9/11/2023)
  • Light On College Sports Standout FCS All-Purpose Performer (9/11/2023)
  • CFPA Honorable Mention FCS National Performer of the Week (9/11/2023)
  • FedEx Ground FCS National award

RB Dylan Laube – New Hampshire

5’-10”, 208 pounds

Projected round: 5

DBN: From Day 1 at the Senior Bowl, you have looked very good at just about everything against all this top competition. Does this surprise you?

Laube: It’s an honor and a blessing. It’s all my hard work coming together and a surreal experience. I have shown I have good hands and don’t mind returning kicks. I have played in the slot more in the XZ. I am trusted at running back but can be versatile in lining up wide. I was invited to both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl and had to choose which one to play in. This game enables me to showcase my skills against elite competition. Hopefully, I am able to prove the doubters wrong.

DBN: You come from an FBS program. Do you have to show more to prove you belong at the next level?

Laube: We have to show out every year. The top prospects from the bigger schools always think they are the guys, but for us, we have to show every single rep. We have that grit who work hard and are helluva players. We have a chip on our shoulders and are all in the same path. Nothing is given in this world.

DBN: What separates you from the other running backs in this draft class?

Laube: Right away my versatility. Me being a slot receiver, a running back, blocking, motioning out, a return specialist, spread, and a special teams guy. At one time this past season, I was the nation’s leading receiver. My running back skills are underrated because I am so involved in the passing game. I am a ground-and-pound back who can move the ball.

DBN: You have been invited to the Combine. What are some things you do for that event?

Laube: I have heard that this will be an awesome week. I am training right now in Florida. The Combine is not necessarily about speed but about your technique. So precise with your steps so that it won’t decrease your time in each drill. Working on my 40 time as well as the broad jump, the “L” drill, to the shuttle. A lot of time going through every single one.

DBN: What are some of your goals at the next level?

Laube: My first goal is to prove to the coaching staff that I can compete at that level. Then I want to make the team, play in games, and eventually become the starter. I NFL played special teams my whole athletic life and have no problems getting a feel for the game there first. I am a four-phase special teamer. So, one goal is to be an asset to the team in any way possible. And that may be as a returner.

DBN: All NFL teams have film on you. What do they not know about you?

Laube: My teammates will say it is my work ethic. I am non-stop. My motor is non-stop. I am going to make sure from training to film study that I am working to be the best. I outwork every single person in the room for that organization that truly wants me.

NCAA Football: New Hampshire at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

DBN: This past season you were #1 in all-purpose yards nationally #3 in kickoff returns and #16 in punt returns. Has the return game always been a part of your game?

Laube: At the end of the day, it correlates to team. Anything that is needed I am willing. It is so fun just flying around and trying to find a hole. There are no lights too bright.

DBN: You grew up with a stutter. How did you overcome this?

Laube: My mom claims it is karma when I was making fun of another kid that stuttered. I grew up with it all my life. It has definitely been a challenge but something that I embrace. I don’t let it affect me. If you let something like this hold you back like a stutter, it changes who you are as a person. I love to talk and who I have been. I don’t want to tell anyone I used to have a stutter, but I also don’t let it bother me because now it seems like it isn’t a big deal. In college, I took 5-6 public speaking courses and now able to be engaging.

New Hampshire v Florida International Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

DBN: There is a role that has opened up in the NFL called “the running receiver.” How does this ability translate to the NFL?

Laube: A running back that can be lined up at receiver for most of the game is what I have been doing for a while. Being lined up as a receiver can help your game that much more. Then move you back to running back and pick your lane and reactionary stuff. While lined up at receiver you have to read coverages, zone man, and depending on the route you have to sit short more or stay inside/outside. At the same time, you have to be a good pass protector. A lot of people forget that this is super-important. That is a check for any NFL team.


DBN: What is a typical day of preparation for the draft?

Laube: It is mental as well as physical. I am at a facility in Florida that does so much such as rehab, massage therapists, ice baths, sauna, and compression booths. It is all designed to take care of your body. The workout itself is very specific but not too crazy. I do work on Combine drills but it is not always about speed. It is long days but spaced out including doing film study. I played a lot of different sports growing up which has contributed to me being a better athlete. Football has become the full focus for me. If you want to be great at something you have to be obsessed with it. But I will play some pickleball.