By RICK PETERSON
Is Washburn University senior Hunter Browning a running back or a wide receiver?
Well, that kind of depends on the year and what the Ichabods' needs are that particular season.
And it doesn't matter to the former Washburn Rural standout where he plays as long as he's playing.
"I just want to be on the field,'' said the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder. "It doesn't matter where it is. As long as I'm playing with my brothers, that's all I can ask for.''
After redshirting in 2017, Browning played running back for the Ichabods in 2018 before switching to receiver in 2019 and 2021.
Now Browning will be back at running back when Washburn opens the 2022 season on Sept. 1 at Yager Stadium against Lincoln.
Browning has been productive at both positions, recording 428 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 92 carries and catchint 34 passes for 393 yards and two TDs.
A year ago Browning played in all 12 games for the 9-3 Ichabods, with 21 receptions for 271 yards and a TD.
"I definitely like finding the holes and bursting through them at running back and I also like those 20-yard post routes,'' Browning said. "They are two completely different positions, but I think being able to play both of them really gives me a more complete look at the defense.''
Now Browning is looking for another big year in his sixth and final season in the Ichabod program and said it was a no-brainer to take advantage of his last year of eligibility.
"It really feels like time's flown by so fast,'' Browning said. "I just love the togetherness of the guys, the teamwork. I feel like the coaches really make sure everybody's on the same page and really made it an easy decision to come back.''
A five-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, playing this fall also works out academically for Brownling, who has one semester remaining to earn his degree in nursing, joining a family member as well as several former and current WU teammates in the field.
"I've always been interested in it throughout high school,'' he said. "My grandma was a nurse. She was an RN and went on to get her master's and then I saw these older (Washburn) guys that have already gone through the program and talked to them.
"It really just felt like something that would work for me.''