Arnold Walker, the 5’11”, 225-pound Alcorn State senior running back, has been a major component in the Braves’ much improved break out season this year.
Having one of his most productive seasons this year, the Atlanta native thrived from an injury that ended his sophomore season and the yearly soap opera the Alcorn State program endured between 2008 and 2012. There were multiple coaching changes (4 different in 5 years), a carousel of athletic directors to match and the departure of a star quarterback in Brandon Bridge (now at the University of South Alabama).
After rushing for 156 yards on 28 carries in Saturday’s thrilling 44-38 overtime victory over Southern University, Walker humbly thanked his teammates which highlights the character that makes him the heart of soul of this 2013 football team.
“Arnold has heart, determination, he’s a true brave,” said Alcorn head coach Jay Hopson during his weekly radio show, “I never have to worry if number 1 is ready to play. He’s a real football player.”
The soft spoken, but powerful, rusher has rushed for over 500 yards on 85 carries; averaging 5.6 yards per carry during the Braves four game winning streak.
Walker, the conference’s second leading rusher (88.6 yards per game), is also on pace to becoming the leading rusher in Alcorn State history; already surpassing the late great Steve “Air II” McNair, who will be a 2014 inductee in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in July.
Alcorn currently sits in third place behind Alabama State and Jackson State in the SWAC’s Eastern Division respectively, but still has hopes of reaching that elusive SWAC title game and winning their first conference title since 1992.
Walker and Co. are hoping to keep those title hopes alive as they have two key matchups against Alabama A&M and Prairie View at Jack Spinks Stadium; which may be just what the Braves need as they have their Spinks Jinx rolling with an undefeated home record.
The final game for Alcorn will be against arch rival Jackson State where Walker can rush his way to the top of the record books, get a win, and earn a trip to Houston.
Whatever happens at the end of this season for the Braves, Arnold Walker will always be remembered as an Alcorn great.
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