Fullback Andy Janovich, who brings some experience at a position the Browns plan to deploy often in 2020, has joined the team following a trade with the Broncos.
Here are five things to know about the Browns' newest addition on offense.
1) Janovich comes to Cleveland after four seasons in Denver. A sixth-round pick out of Nebraska, Janovich took on a role right away, appearing in 11 games as a rookie before seeing the field in all 16 in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018. Janovich started in 19 games over four years but was limited to just seven games overall in 2019 because of an elbow injury that prematurely ended his season.
2) Since entering the NFL, Janovich has been a blocker first and foremost out of the fullback position. Beyond putting himself in front of would-be tacklers, Janovich has made more of an impact as a pass-catcher than he has as a runner. He's rushed 13 times for 51 yards -- 28 of those coming on the first carry of his career, which resulted in a touchdown -- while catching 22 passes for 233 yards. In a recent interview on Cleveland Browns Daily, Janovich jokingly dismissed his threat as a playmaker with the ball in his hands. "I'm not outrunning anybody," he said. "I guess they're forgetting I'm there."
Check out photos of Fullback Andy Janovich
3) Janovich is one of the rare players who has experience playing fullback at every level. He was a linebacker and fullback at Gretna High School in Nebraska before joining the University of Nebraska as a walk-on to eventually do the same. He rarely touched the ball during his first three seasons before taking on a bigger role in the offense as a senior. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after rushing 42 times for 265 yards and three touchdowns while catching two passes for 58 yards, including a 53-yarder.
4) Janovich had a scholarship offer to the University of Nebraska-Kearney but opted to enroll as a walk-on at Nebraska when the opportunity presented itself. He fulfilled a lifelong dream by doing so and earned a scholarship by his sophomore season. He said he dreamed of playing football at Nebraska "as soon as you know what football is." His uncle, Jerry Murtaugh, was an All-American linebacker at Nebraska in the 70s. "I wanted to play for Nebraska and I wanted to be like my Uncle Jerry," Janovich said.
5) Janovich takes his weightlifting and conditioning seriously. On top of earning the Tom Novak Award, which goes to the Nebraska senior who "best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds," Janovich was named the team's lifter of the year in 2015. Though most gyms around the country are closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Janovich said he'll be back at his parents' house using his father's weight set -- the same one he used as a child -- to stay in shape. His old high school field is just a mile down the road, too. "It's going to be interesting to see how that all works out," Janovich said.