The Richmond Register

October 31, 2013

EKU FOOTBALL: Ariguzo filling different roles for Colonels

By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor

RICHMOND — Ike Ariguzo has been asked to step into several different roles this season.

He’s seen action at fullback.

And tight end.

And wide receiver.

“My mindset is pretty much (I’ll do) whatever it takes to help the team win,” Ariguzo said. “So, if they need to me to play offensive line, I’d try to do my best. I’ll line up anywhere.”

After transferring from the Air Force Academy, Ariguzo spent almost all of last season at EKU (5-3, 3-1 OVC) as a wide receiver. The senior caught 18 passes for 317 yards and had a reception in nine of the Colonels’ 11 games.

He was expected to be one of EKU’s top pass-catchers this season, but injuries forced the coaching staff to shuffle the offense.

“We don’t have (fullback) Jeremy James,” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “We don’t have (tight end) Matt Lengel. So, you are trying to find a way to run the football and that burden has fallen on Ike. He would be better suited to be in the slot and be mis-matched against someone, then we could throw him the ball. Which we would like to do.”

Ariguzo has been more than willing to play pretty much anywhere on the field.

But, he too has been slowed by injuries.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound senior sustained an ankle injury in the season opener against Robert Morris and did not play the next week against Louisville. He was slowed by that ankle for several more weeks.

“Being out with an injury, I really couldn’t show what I could do,” Ariguzo said. “But, the offense is coming along. We have a lot of weapons. It could be me this week. Next week it could be Devin (Borders) or Jeff (Glover).”

Ariguzo has been healthy the past couple of weeks and he’s starting to show that he can be an offensive threat at multiple positions.

The senior had three catches in wins over both Tennessee Tech and SEMO.

Against Tech, he fought off a defender and caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Jeff Glover.

Last week at SEMO, he caught a pass over the middle, shed off a would-be tackler and went 45 yards for a touchdown.

“The first thing I did was look back for a flag,” Ariguzo said. “I had a touchdown called back earlier this season, so that was the first thing I looked for. I didn’t see one, so I was kind of relieved.”

So far this season, the senior has eight catches for 141 yards and three touchdowns.

The coaching staff would certainly like to get the ball in Ariguzo’s hands a lot more in the final four games of the season.

“He’s a big human,” Hood said of Ariguzo. “He’s an intriguing athlete. ‘What is he at the next level?’ That’s a question I keep getting from the NFL guys and I don’t know. All I know is for us he is a dependable special teams player and he plays anywhere you want him to. He’s got a big body and he’s got good hands.”