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October 30, 2012

COLTS NOTEBOOK: Ballard getting noticed after Sunday’s overtime TD

INDIANAPOLIS — Rookie Vick Ballard admits that he’s a little uneasy about all the attention Sunday’s LP Field leap into the end zone is garnering among Indianapolis Colts fans and the team’s media.

Don’t get Ballard wrong. The first-year running back from Mississippi State appreciates all the comments and good wishes that’s been coming his way after scoring the game-winning touchdown against AFC South rival Tennessee.

But it’s just not his nature to brag about himself. Ballard doesn’t have much of an ego. He’s a team guy first and foremost, so he would rather talk about how the Colts’ 19-13 victory effects everybody else.

“Special people do special things,” he responded Monday after being asked to describe his backwards somersault on the final play of Sunday’s game. After realizing what he had said, Ballard quickly corrected himself.

“I’m not saying I’m special. But if the time is right, [somebody has to] do something special. So I did.”

In discussing the play, Ballard said that he knew that he wouldn’t be able to reach the end zone unless he attempted the airborne move. He’s had experience with similar situations while in college.

“It wasn’t my first time doing it but it was my first time scoring a touchdown. My first time doing it was actually my junior year against Arkansas in overtime. I ended up fumbling the ball through the end zone and lost the game,” he recalled.

“Then last year I did it and went out at the inch-yard line. This year for me to actually score in my rookie year, in overtime, to win the first game on the road since 2010, it was real big for me.”

As for his LP Field leap, Ballard said that he made a split-second decision to try it again.

“I knew I couldn’t make it there by just running in. So that was my last option, to jump. I knew I couldn’t jump straight because I would have been knocked out of bounds. I didn’t try to flip [backwards]. I just tried to turn sideways. Somehow I ended up on my back. But it all worked out,” he recalled, adding that he didn’t know that he had scored.

“I wasn’t sure at all. I just hopped up and threw my hands up. I saw the referee come up and he threw his hands up too. He said touchdown, so it was a touchdown.”

It wasn’t too long after the game ended that his cell phone started buzzing.

“My phone is vibrating in my pocket right now. It was on [ESPN’s] Top 10 [plays Sunday night]. I’m not sure what number it was, but people have been calling me and texting me. All kinds of stuff,” Ballard said. “It all comes with the job description. You got to do media. Any exposure is good, so I’m happy for it.”

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