Above and beyond

“A stitch in time” is a phrase used in needlework, embroidery and weaving. It’s also attributed to popular 1990s TV show The Outer Limits. It now applies to Grambling State senior running back Frank Warren, who has reached beyond the limits of his wildest dreams and stands on the threshold of weaving himself into a special place in GSU football history.

After a 202-yard performance Saturday against the Alcorn State Braves, Warren’s rushing total to date stands at 933. He is a mere 67 yards from being the first 1,000-yard rusher at GSU since Brad Hill went for 1,032 in 2001.

That’s just the beginning .
They say records are made to be broken, and now Warren, a potential Walter Payton Award candidate, finds himself in a position that he never imagined: within striking distance of the Grambling State individual rushing records for most yards by a senior (1,401 by Walter Dean in 1990), most yards in a season (1,417 by Eric Gant in 1992) and Eric Gant’s all-time career rushing record of 3,795 yards.

Warren is also only 258 yards away from passing Walter Payton as No. 5 on the Southwestern Athletic Conference career rushing list.

“When I first got here (Grambling), people would tell me about the great Grambling running backs like Walter Dean and Eric Gant,” Warren said. “It’s really a great accomplishment just to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys.”

Having already been named SWAC Freshman of the Year (2007) and second team All-SWAC (2009), Warren, the consummate team player, is quick to throw the spotlight off himself. Facing records that have stood since he was a 1-year-old, Warren credits his offensive line, running backs coach Shawn Gibbs and a new system for his success.

“Breaking records was not one of my goals,” he said. “As a freshman I was just worried about seeing the field.

“When Coach Broadway came in, he changed the style we play and it really helped me out.”
“I would love to break a thousand yards,” Warren said. “And now it’s close. That would be a great accomplishment.”

Warren said Gibbs helps keep him focused, reminding him to not do things any differently than he has been.
“Every game my line is telling me we’re going to get you that record. They’re playing great,” he said.

“They’re opening a lot of holes and playing very aggressive. They really want to get me those yards. They know if I get those types of yards we have a good chance at winning.”
Head football coach Rod Broadway said, “Frank is a special kid, and I’m so happy that we have him.

“To see him grow as a person and as a football player from his freshman year to where he is now has been a real joy,” Broadway said.

“Now people are beginning to see what we have seen for a long time. I hope he can finish up strong and make some All-American teams.

“I think he’s one of the best players in Black college football,” Broadway said.
Despite all of the hype surrounding Warren’s success this season, his gridiron objectives have remained the same since Day one.

“Before I leave I would love to be a two-time Black College National Champion,” he said. “I would love to be mentioned as one of Grambling’s great running backs, but to be a two-time champion would be great.”

Regardless of the numbers on the stat pages after the final whistle has blown at the end of this season, Warren will always own a piece of GSU football history as the business management major eagerly anticipates graduation next semester.