Daily Egyptian

Saluki backfield filled with talent, inexperience

By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

While the Saluki running back position has depth, only one player has game experience at SIU. 

SIU football is trying to replace Malcolm Agnew, who graduated after last season, and has seven running backs available, including four freshmen and two junior college transfers. 

Running back coach Larry Warner said coach Dale Lennon will let him carry five backs on the roster, meaning two will have to redshirt.

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“I got to kind of wind it down here and make a decision about what five I’m going to take,” Warner said.

Warner said he will use sophomore Cameron Walter and junior Aaron Stanton for the first game Saturday at Indiana because of their game experience.

“Coach has already told me I’m going to get my chance to go,” Stanton said. “So I just need to make sure that when I get the chance I make the most of it.”

Walter returns to the team after having 86 carries in 12 games last season — starting two games after Agnew’s ankle injury.

Walter said his game experience has been crucial this offseason.

“It’s definitely shown me the way,” he said. “I’m still young and I’m still building… I just have to take what I’ve learned and download it onto the backs we have now.”

Ventura College transfer Stanton, who received nine touches in the last fall scrimmage, had the second most carries in the offseason scrimmages with 20 compared to Walter’s 23.

Stanton said he has been learning from Walter. 

“He’s been a good mentor for me,” Stanton said. “He already knew the ropes… it was a great learning experience and he’s helped me a lot.”

Warner said all the running backs on the roster will be used during the season. 

“Every guy has got to be ready,” he said. “I’ll just rotate them in. From there you just go with the guy that’s feeling it”.

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @SCarleyDE. 

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