“I’m great,” Janovich said. “I’m done with my injury. That cleared up a couple of months ago. I’m full-speed, back in the weight room and back on the field, so I’m feeling pretty good.”
Despite the injury, Janovich looks back on his rookie season fondly. He rushed for 33 yards on four attempts, averaging 8.3 yards per carry, and had five receptions for 44 yards. He even scored one rushing touchdown.
That touchdown came during week one against the Carolina Panthers. His one attempt took him 28 yards straight into the end zone. It’s something Janovich has a hard time believing when he looks back.
“It was a lot of excitement. I really couldn’t believe it,” Janovich said. “The only reason is worked out was because most of the defensive players thought the ball was going to the running back. The last years before that with Peyton Manning, they didn’t have a fullback running. They had just keyed in on a running back, if you watch the film.
“I don’t remember if it was their corner or their safety, but he ran right by me. He could have tackled me no problem. It was just a lot of excitement and disbelief. It was a pretty cool experience.”
And sure, Janovich is a bit biased about his position when he talks about it.
“I don’t see why people wouldn’t have a fullback in their offense,” Janovich said. “They’re good for a lot of different things. They can be versatile. They can run, catch passes. They can be really good at what they do. If you find a good one, they can add a lot to your offense.”
Janovich also sees the value of having former Nebraskans on a team too. Again, he may be biased but he’s a big fan of playing with former teammates and others from across the state of Nebraska. That includes players like Zaire Anderson, Jared Crick and Shaquil Barrett (who played high school football at Boys Town in Omaha).
“It’s just cool to see people from Nebraska make it to the top levels of the NFL,” Janovich said. “It’s exciting because I think a lot of people overlook Nebraska. They think of us as just farmers, or hicks and rednecks. We just shoot guns and chew tobacco.”
Another Husker will soon join the Nebraskans. Josh Banderas signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Broncos after the 2017 NFL draft. One of the first people Banderas called? None other than Janovich, who was quick to offer any advice he could.
“I think he is a little nervous,” Janovich said. “He doesn’t really know what to expect. He has one chance. I mean, everybody in his shoes are nervous. I was nervous and I’m still nervous. You never know and you don’t really have a lot of job security.
“He was just asking what mini-camp was like when he’s going to arrive and what a typical day is like. After he heard, he realized it wasn’t that big of a deal. They’re not going to try to kill you the first week you’re there. They’re just going to try to ease you into it.”
And for Janovich, he’s also easing back into everything himself. He may not know what the future holds, but he’s happy where he is now.
Healthy, happy and ready to keep proving why every team should have a fullback on its roster.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.