Paul E. Dresens, E89, EG93, A22P — Football

Introduction of Paul Dresens, presented by Nick Dresens A25, Son of Paul Dresens, Member of Tufts Football Team

After helping to lead his Westwood High School football team to a Massachusetts State Championship during his senior year, Paul Dresens joined the Tufts football team in the fall of 1985.

Paul made an immediate impact during his freshman year, rushing for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, it was during his sophomore year that he really began to make his presence felt. Paul accounted for 739 yards of offense and scored and 9 touchdown that year, helping to lead the Jumbos to a 7-1 record and a NESCAC championship. Paul was an All-East Region selection at running back and was named the team's Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. According to the Tufts Daily, Paul was the first non-senior in team history to be selected MVP.

A hamstring tear forced Paul to the sidelines for all but one game during his junior year, but he more than made up for it when he returned to the field for his senior year. During the fall of 1988, Paul and the Tufts team delivered one of the most dynamic offensive seasons in Tufts football history. The Tufts offense led the nation in rushing with 2,952 yards over eight games for an average of 369 yards per game.

As for Paul, here are some numbers that reflect what he accomplished that season:

Paul rushed for 1,070 yards over 8 games for an average 134 yards per game. To this day, only three Tufts running backs have ever crossed the 1,000-yard threshold for a season, and Paul was just the second Jumbo to do it.

And get this! Paul gained those 1,070 yards on only 143 carries, giving him a staggering average of 7.5 yards per carry.

What about touchdowns? Well, Paul scored 13 of those that season. That was a team record that stood for nearly 30 years and remains second on the all-time list.

On Homecoming Day at the Oval that year, Paul rushed for 226 yards and accumulated 363 all-purpose yards against Bowdoin.

And finally, a couple of other facts about that season that demonstrate Paul’s versatility and love for playing the game. Because Tufts ran the wishbone offense, they almost never threw the ball that season – but when they did, it was Paul who caught it. He led the team with 12 receptions. And for good measure, Paul also handled kickoff and punt returns that season, averaging 21 yards and 13 yards per return respectively.

Paul will be the first to deflect credit to his teammates for all of those achievements. Nevertheless, in recognition of that incredible senior season, Paul was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year. Additionally, he received the New England Division II-III Gold Helmet Award as the New England Player of the Year.

Paul’s coaches would often say he was just as big of a team contributor without the ball in his hands. Aside from his own 1,000-yard season in 1988, his incredible blocking ability helped pave the way for Tim Fanikos to rush for 721 yards and for two other teammates to gain more than 330 yards that same season.

Duane Ford, Paul’s Head Football Coach at Tufts, had these very impressive words to say about Paul: “We led the nation in rushing because of many, but mainly Paul Dresens. The scheme required a team-oriented toughness that Paul epitomized. He was the pound-for-pound toughest competitor in my time at Tufts. He blocked better than he ran the ball—and he was an excellent runner. He had an amazing standard of excellence. He wanted to win every play.”

I’ll conclude with a few of Paul’s career numbers, which I should reiterate, he accomplished by playing in just three seasons.

Paul had 24 career rushing touchdowns, which ranks second all-time and stood as the team record until just a few years ago.

Paul ranks 5th overall in total rushing yards at Tufts with 1,897 yards. But what’s really incredible about that is that he gained those yards on only 313 carries. The four players ranked ahead of him carried the ball an average of 510 times, which is nearly 200 more carries.

As a result, Paul averaged an amazing 6.1 yards per rush for his career. That remains an all-time Tufts record that will be hard for anyone to beat.

So please help me welcome my father, Paul Dresens, to the stage and into the Tufts Athletics Hall of Fame.