ALAMEDA – You might have noticed at least once a game, Justin Fargas seems to absorb a wicked hit from a defender.
That’s not a trend that started with the Raiders.
Fargas spent his last two years of college at USC after transferring from Michigan.
Lane Kiffin said Fargas was known as “Crash test dummy” for the way he threw his body around on the scout team in the year he sat out after joining the team.
But one of the reasons Fargas has improved this season is he less test dummy, more battering ram.
He’s running with his shoulders lower this season. No one will confuse him with Earl Campbell, but the way Fargas is running doesn’t put him at risk for as many hard hits.
Fargas willingness to hit defenders helps him a lot in pass protection. He has no problem throwing a shoulder into a blitzing linebacker and stopping him cold.
Fargas was injured off on and on early in his career, but played in every game last season and hasn’t missed a game this season.
And there’s no plan to tell Fargas to run any differently.
“There’s stuff that goes on in that huddle that's real,” Kiffin said. “It’s real when you’re an offensive lineman and you see that out of the corner of your eye, you see a guy finish a run like that, it’s powerful stuff.”