A familiar sight in the UR backfield for the past three years, junior running back Clarence Onyiriuka’s powerful running style coupled with a workhorse mentality allowed him to rush 42 times for 180 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s heartbreaking loss to Union College.

A native of Corning, N.Y., Onyiriuka has been playing football since he was in eighth grade. In three games this season, Onyiriuka has been a driving force for UR’s offense, averaging 119 yards per game on the ground while scoring six touchdowns.

You used to be a pretty good basketball player why did you choose football?
I like football better than basketball, and I felt like I would have a better chance of doing well.

What’s your favorite football memory here at Rochester?
When we beat [Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute] freshman year. We had a goal line stand and that won the game for us.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on campus?
The Frat Quad being empty on a Saturday.

Do people ever get you confused with your brother [former UR hoops star Jon Onyiriuka]?
All the time, especially now that I’m bald.

How do you get so many yards after contact?
I just try to run hard every play.

If you were to go to Douglass Dining Center, what would be your dream meal?
A pulled pork wrap with mac and cheese and then I get a half and half with lemonade and iced tea.

Who’s your celebrity crush?
Eva Mendes.

What are your expectations for the rest of the season, both for you as an individual and for the team?
Win the rest of our games and win the Liberty League title. Individually, just staying healthy and keep piling up good games.

Willis is a member of the class of 2011.

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