|Micah Andrews believes football and theater are "just a big show." (Chuck Burton/Associated Press)|
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Micah Andrews knows how to put on a show.
The Wake Forest running back made a dramatic return to the field this season, coming back to big-time college football after recovering from a serious knee injury. At the same time, the fifth-year senior is preparing for a different kind of spotlight: The theater major directs his first play next spring, a one-act production of "An Evening With Dead Essex."
"Being in front of a bunch of people, being able to perform as well, it's all just a big show, a big performance, whether you're running the football or you're acting," Andrews said. "It's all a big show of entertainment, showing up every night and putting up the same intensity toward doing something that has a lot to do with hard work. Things like that, they all pour into each other."
Drama seems an unlikely passion for the soft-spoken running back, who has rushed for 346 yards and two touchdowns this season as a change-of-pace bruiser. Off the field and away from the stage, he's a quiet, introspective figure who measures his words carefully.
But when the curtain rises, a different Micah Andrews emerges - one who's just as comfortable hamming it up during a comedic sketch as he is portraying a Death Row inmate confined to a wheelchair.
"He has kind of an internal burn that draws you in," said Sharon Andrews, an associate professor of theater at Wake Forest. "He's one of those actors that sort of draws an audience to him."
Andrews came to Wake Forest as a communications major in the summer of 2003, and was introduced to the stage a year later when he joined fullback De'Angelo Bryant, eventual Atlantic Coast Conference football player of the year Chris Barclay, and basketball player Trent Strickland in writing and performing "Our Reality," co-directed by Sharon Andrews and based on the players' experiences as college athletes. "There's a possibility we might could see the next Will Smith, Denzel Washington," Bryant said.
Andrews's father, William Andrews, was a fullback who reached four Pro Bowls with the Atlanta Falcons.