Not that he wanted to, but Anthony LaCoste had no way of hiding from the spotlight as he walked around the Air Force Academy on Monday.
"We all wear our names on our shirts," LaCoste said. "So people would see it and be like, 'Oh hey, are you that running back?'"
Yes, LaCoste is that running back, the one who exploded for 263 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-28 victory over Army on Saturday.
The congratulations and honors have rolled in ever since. On Monday, LaCoste was named co-offensive player of the week in the Mountain West, an honor he shared with Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. LaCoste also earned an ESPN helmet sticker and was named CollegeFootball Performance national running back of the week.
"Everybody's shooting me texts and messages and just calling and congratulating me. It's kind of overwhelming, I guess," said LaCoste, whose 263 yards were the second-most in a game in program history. "Everybody's congratulating me and I just kind of tell them thanks."
The game was the kind that could change virtually everything for LaCoste. He likely won't need to share a spot on the depth chart with Jon Lee, as he has all season. He suddenly has a realistic shot at 1,000 rushing yards, needing 396 yards over the next three games. And with that, who knows what might lie ahead in terms of a chance to play football somewhere down the road.
"I love football and I would love to keep playing it," LaCoste said. "If I got that opportunity, I would take it."
LaCoste's breakout has been pleasing to Falcons coach Troy Calhoun.
"What we've shared with him is that we wouldn't have made a bowl last year if he didn't play safety for us," Calhoun said. "I think that tells you about as much about Anthony LaCoste as anything. Kind of felt like we needed the help at safety last season and we felt we could have a potential 1,000-yard rusher with Cody Getz, and for Anthony to move over to safety was a huge boost to us. For him to move back to tailback this year is pretty darn cool. It's neat to see a guy to be that unselfish and team-oriented and yet still play like he hasn't missed a beat."
Freshman nose guard David Harris returned to practice after missing several weeks with a knee injury. . Junior linebacker Joey Nichol did not practice Monday and is questionable with a groin injury. . Junior wide receiver Sam Gagliano (concussion) had a limited return to practice and is questionable for Friday's game at New Mexico.