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This year’s top-rated fullback plays with “disregard for my body”

Pittsburgh v Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Henry Hynoski #27 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pittsburgh won 28-10. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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The top-rated fullback in the 2011 NFL draft is Henry Hynoski, a 6-foot-2, 257-pound prospect from Pittsburgh.

A rare underclassman fullback, Hynoski explained to PFT Wednesday that he left school early because, after firing Dave Wannstedt, the Panthers were transitioning from a pro-style to spread offense. Spread schemes tend to make little use of bulldozing lead blockers.

Hynoski spoke of playing “with disregard for my body,” and “wearing people down.” Hynoski patterns his game after former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott because “he was a beast,” and his father, who made it to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. Hynoski has watched all of his dad’s game tapes from high school through the pros.

“I idolized my dad,” he said.

I asked Hynoski about his forty time, and he said his focus was not on long-distance speed but rather on 10- and 20-yard splits, the vertical, and drills that show explosion. His training approach makes sense, since NFL fullbacks rarely run forty yards downfield.

Hynoski received a middle-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee.

Here is Hynoski’s YouTube highlight reel.