Late fumble served as motivation for Morgan State's Herb Walker Jr.

September 15, 2014|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

By the middle of the fourth quarter of Morgan State’s 28-3 win over Bowie State at Hughes Stadium on Saturday, running back Herb Walker Jr. had gained 118 yards, marking the third straight game in which the team had a 100-yard rusher.

But with 3:27 left, the redshirt sophomore was stripped of the football by Bulldogs junior linebacker Robert Burke, and redshirt junior outside linebacker Jonathan Harris pounced on the loose ball at the Bears’ 41-yard line.

Normally, that might have been the end of the day for Walker as he had nothing left to prove and there seemed to be no point in putting him back in at risk of injury with Morgan State holding a 14-3 advantage. But that’s not the way Walker saw it.

“That fumble motivated me the most,” he said. “I just wanted to go out and prove to the team that I’m not that type of player and that I can finish the game.”

Walker didn’t waste any time putting the fumble behind him. After Bears senior strong safety Paul Eatman Jr. intercepted a pass and returned it to Bowie State’s 43 and another 15 yards were tacked on for a personal foul on right guard Dariz Hill, Walker took a handoff on the first play and raced 28 yards for his first touchdown.

On Morgan State’s next series from the Bulldogs’ 40, Walker carried the ball three consecutive times, capping the possession with a 33-yard run for his second score.

“After the fumble, I got down a little bit, but everyone was cheering me up,” said Walker, who finished with 180 yards on 20 attempts. “After that, I just wanted to do more.”

Walker has rushed for 451 yards and four touchdowns in two starts since replacing redshirt sophomore Lamont Brown III (torn right anterior cruciate ligament). While his production may surprise observers, coach Lee Hull said this is what the coaching staff anticipated of Walker.

“He could have been the No. 1 guy,” Hull said. “It was a hard decision between him and Lamont. We went with Lamont, but Herb could have been the starter, and he’s done a great job. He was not mad or got depressed. He still worked out. … He hung in there, and he prepared like he was a starter from the beginning, and it shows.”

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