Carter, Dorsey to lead Laker run game

Beau Troutman

This spring, Grand Valley State coach Matt Mitchell described his running back duo of Martayveus Carter and Terrell Dorsey as “thunder and lightning.”

They’re perfectly OK with that.

“I kind of like that,” Carter said. “Because (Dorsey) do bring the boom, and I just be zoom, zoom, zoom. Thunder and lightning, that’s a pretty good way to break it.”

Carter and Dorsey will lead a Laker run game that will be without former running back and last year’s leading rusher Kirk Spencer, who graduated with the second most all-purpose yards in GVSU history (5,352).

Carter, the “lightning” half of the duo, is slated as the starter this year after receiving significant playing time as the relief back to Spencer. Last season, Carter appeared in 14 games, had 889 rushing yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman.

Though he admits going from a freshman backup to a full-fledged starter is a little nerve-wracking, Carter says he tries “not to get too big-headed about it.” Although this is his first year going into the season as the starter, this isn’t the first time he’s been asked to be the No. 1 guy.

In GVSU’s run to the national semi-finals last season, Spencer broke his leg at the beginning of the Super Region final win over Colorado State Pueblo. Carter was the next man up, and broke a GVSU playoff record with 231 rushing yards on 23 carries—as a freshman.

It’s Carter’s play-style that gives him the advantage over slower or bigger opponents. Able to make quick cuts and use his acceleration to explode through holes, his speed gives him an unpredictability that is reminiscent of his recently adopted nickname.

“When lightning strikes, it goes in different directions,” Carter said. “You don’t know which way it’s gonna come. Once I get the rock, you never know what to expect.”

Dorsey, who brings the “thunder” in this pair, is fine with his nickname. At 225-pounds, he’s 25 pounds heavier than Carter and specializes in using power to get extra yards.

But he’s got a little lightning, too.

“I accept it,” Dorsey said. “I ain’t got nothing wrong with being thunder, if that’s what (Mitchell) was saying. I could be lightning, but I understand completely, because Marty, he’s a playmaker, he’s explosive. You don’t know when he’ll just pop off.

“I got no problem bringing the boom and doing the dirty work. That’s just the best of both worlds we have in our offense.”

While Carter has taken a direct path to his role in the offense, Dorsey has taken the beaten path to his. Dorsey, a redshirt senior, has gone through many ups and downs. He suffered a severe knee injury early in his GVSU career, which derailed his morale.

Ultimately, the knee injury may have helped more than it hurt him.

“That was a good thing that happened to me because once I was able to step back on the field, I was able to sort everything out because I took so many mental reps, watched so much film, studied so many plays,” Dorsey said. “That’s when I realized it clicked, and I could function in this offense.”

Dorsey was named GVSU’s most improved player in 2014 and finished that year with 359 rushing yards, second-most on the team. Last season, Dorsey dealt with injuries all year, and finished with 119 yards in 12 games.

This is his final ride wearing Laker blue and black, and Dorsey realizes he has one more opportunity to “bring the boom.”

“I can’t believe it’s my last year. I’ve played football for so long,” Dorsey said. “As a senior, I feel like I have to push the envelope a little bit more as a leader, as a player and as a great teammate.”

Carter and Dorsey will be running behind a revamped offensive line that saw two accomplished seniors graduate, and will also looks to complement a passing game that was the best in the GLIAC last season. Mitchell also noted that true sophomore Christian Lumpkin will be in the mix at running back as well.

Dorsey brings the boom, Carter brings the explosion. Together, they’re thunder and lightning.

“They’re all different, I think that’s unique,” Mitchell said. “I like that. It keeps people off balance. They each bring something different to the table.”