TERRE HAUTE —
Myles Walker is only in his early 20s, but he knows only too well those pangs of nostalgia that seep to the surface when you no longer play a game you loved to play.
Walker, an all-state football player in Texas, chose to play basketball in college. After two years of junior college, he was Indiana State’s starting center from 2010-12.
But football was never far from Walker’s heart. And unlike most who long to play again, Walker is getting the chance to put on the helmet and pads again.
Walker has one year of athletic eligibility left and he chose to use it by playing one year of football for the Sycamores.
To say Walker is overjoyed to be back on the gridiron would be an understatement. He’s savoring every minute of it. Preseason camp can be a drag for some, but not for big Texan.
“It’s just great to be out here to run again. When I’m out here on the field running, I go as fast as I can. Every single play, every single down,” Walker said.
“It’s amazing to be out here in this weather. It’s a different climate than basketball. You get that [air conditioning] and all the nice luxury. Out here? It’s hot air and you have to work your butt off every down you go.”
Football appeals to Walker’s smashmouth nature more so than basketball did. And at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, Walker can smash with the best of them.
“I like football a whole lot more because I can be physical. In basketball, I try to be too physical and get too many fouls and I have to go sit next to Coach Lou [Gudino] on the bench,” Walker said.
“It’s better for my body out here. I’m used to being physical. I love being physical. That’s my nature.”
Walker isn’t wrong. He wasn’t the most skillful scorer (7.2 career average) for the Sycamores’ basketball team, nor would he ever be described as a finesse player. But Walker excelled in areas that required physical force and tenacity.
Walker was a good rebounder (5 rpg), a solid shot-blocker , and a good-to-excellent defender in the lane when he kept himself out of foul trouble.
His most notable ISU career performance was against Wichita State in a 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinal, in which, he held a talent trio of Shockers’ big men under wraps and scored a then-career high 14 points to help ISU to a 61-54 victory.
But for all that he did on the hardwood, Walker almost certainly has a better chance to play at the next level on the gridiron. He was heavily recruited as both a defensive end and tight end out of Antonian Prep in San Antonio. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were among the schools interested in Walker.
If Walker made it to the NFL, he’d become the first MVC basketball player to play in the NFL since Bradley’s Marcus Pollard played tight end from 1995 to 2008, primarily for the Indianapolis Colts. Bradley, of course, doesn’t have a football program.
The question is where Walker plays. He started preseason camp at defensive end. But as of Tuesday’s practice, Walker had moved to tight end. He will get a crash course in ISU’s offense, and as of now, it appears that’s where Walker’s talent best fits the Sycamores.
“I’d say right now it’s tight end,” said ISU coach Trent Miles, when asked where Walker projects. “We’ve got some guys who have really played well with some experience on defense. I don’t care how talented you are that’s hard to unseat those guys. Myles is a talent, so you have to get him out there.”
Miles lauded Walker, who practiced at tight end for the first time without the benefit of having been in a single offensive meeting.
“He was showing us what he could do on pure ability,” Miles said.
Walker said he’s comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Among other things, he said his blocking role giving him the physical contact he craves.
“I’m more comfortable on offense right now. I have a more natural feel for offense. I feel comfortable in my stance, I feel comfortable coming off the line,” Walker said.
Meanwhile, Walker joins a growing list of multi-sport athletes, recently past and present, who play football. Bryant Kent (track), Koby Kraemer (baseball) and current punter Lucas Hileman (baseball) are just a few who have worked overtime on the gridiron.
Walker is the first to go from basketball to football. What it’s done for him is to give him two ISU athletic “families” he feels a part of.
His basketball “family” have been enthusiastic supporters of Walker’s football adventure.
“They treat me well. They keep me enthusiastic. They keep me motivated. They want me to go big. They want me to go forward to the next level,” said Walker, who also said that current ISU center Jake Kitchell is the only player he knows of who played high school football.
In the end, Walker’s goal is just the same of that as all of ISU’s football players – to win the MVFC championship. But he’s the only one on the football roster who can speak from experience.
“I want that MVFC ring, just like we got in basketball. I want the football team to get one too,” Walker said.
• Lutz update — Miles said Tuesday that injured center FN Lutz is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury suffered during the spring Blue-White scrimmage. Lutz suffers ligament damage in his left knee on the last play of the April scrimmage.
“FN is way ahead of schedule. We’re going to see [what his season status will be] when we sit down with the doctors. When he gets back to a certain percentage of strength in that leg, he can return,” Miles said.
Lutz, ISU’s starting center, was a preseason All-MVFC selection.
• Upon further review — Miles watched the film of ISU’s scrimmage on Aug. 17 and it didn’t reveal too many surprises.
“The defense performed really well. They executed their defense well. When they gave up a big play, they responded well to adversity. Offensively, I don’t think we responded as well to adversity,” Miles said.
The caveat for the offense was that several starters didn’t play.
Running back Shakir Bell, tight end Michael Mardis and offensive linemen Adam Masters and Justin Wood all sat out. All of their injuries were deemed minor and Miles said all sat out for precautionary reasons.
“The offense is missing some key components. They haven’t had the same starting offensive line since the first couple of days. It’s always going to look different when Shakir Bell isn’t out there,” Miles said.
n Scrimmage closed to public — Thursday’s final scrimmage will be closed to the public, according to Miles.
TERRE HAUTE —
Myles Walker is only in his early 20s, but he knows only too well those pangs of nostalgia that seep to the surface when you no longer play a game you loved to play.
ISU track sending record 22 to postseason
On the heels of their thrilling double victory at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships both the Indiana State men and women moved up in the national rankings which were released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction
Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
But this is the 2013 Sycamores, after all, and after a season in which seemingly little has gone right, it appears its stars will remain crossed at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU's athletic treasure trove
Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
Indiana State women add five transfers, including experienced D-I point guard
Indiana State coach Teri Moren believes the addition of five more newcomers to the program — in addition to the five who had already joined the program earlier this calendar year — will provide her coaching staff the athleticism and depth it needs to play a successful, up-tempo brand of basketball next season.
Metro roundup: Woods softball takes seventh in national tournament
The St. Mary-of-the-Woods softball team finished seventh in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association softball tournament on Tuesday at Firestone Stadium.
Metro Roundup: Indiana State’s Shakir Bell on Performance Awards watch list
College Football Performance Awards has announced its watch list for the 2013 CFPA FCS Running Back Award, and Indiana State’s Shakir Bell earned a spot on the list.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
Johnson, Lyke win MVC titles for ISU
Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson and Maurice Lyke were both crowned Missouri Valley Conference champions on Saturday during the MVC Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
Metro roundup: RHIT’s Evans sets Div. III record in high jump
For the third time this season, Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans topped the NCAA Division III all-time national record in the outdoor high jump Friday night.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Sycamores searching for answers after seventh loss in eight games
These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
The will is there for the Sycamores to pull out of their worst slump of the season, but the results are not. The suffering continued on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field as Eastern Illinois defeated ISU 5-3.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU men's track picked first in MVC Championships, women second
The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
That may change this year, but the Sycamores will face some stiff competition in their quest for the championships.
North grad Welker helps Whitson earn first NCAA bid as coach
Eastern Kentucky girls golf coach Mike Whitson, an alumnus of his employer, enjoyed his stay in Terre Haute as coach of Indiana State, where he started the women’s golf program.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman wins HCAC all-sports trophy
Rose-Hulman has won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s all-sports trophy for the fifth time in the past six year, the league announced Monday.
Rose tallied 66.5 points for its finishes in 11 men’s sports, just ahead of Franklin with 66. Hanover was third with 53 points.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman tennis falls in HCAC semifinal
Rose-Hulman’s hot streak in men’s tennis came to an end Saturday in the semifinal round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament at the West Indy Racquet Club.
Manaea fights off bad hip, wet weather to toss four innings
Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
ISU track enjoys big night at IU's Billy Hayes Invitational
The Indiana State Sycamores either won or finished as the top collegian in 12 events, led by the record-breaking performance of senior Brandon Pounds at the 2013 Billy Hayes Invitational Friday at Indiana University.
Pounds broke his own school record to win the men’s hammer throw.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
So when one of its athletes enjoys an outstanding season, like senior Kelsey Rosselli is doing for the Pomeroys’ softball team in 2013, media publicity doesn’t always follow.
In fact, her efforts almost seem like a government secret.
Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
Since then, she’s helped The Woods finish runner-up in three straight U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournaments in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
Metro roundup: ISU hands out spring awards
The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller
Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
ISU relay teams enjoy strong day at Drake Relays
It was a day for the relay teams to shine at the 104th Drake Relays Saturday as four of the five Indiana State relay teams that competed ran times that put the team among the top five in school history for their respective events.
Indiana State baseball series canceled
Heavy rain from Thursday through Saturday has forced Indiana State and Tennessee Martin to cancel their three-game weekend baseball series in northwest Tennessee.
Metro roundup; Five Wabash Valley players on Terre Haute Rex team
The Terre Haute Rex will look to three-peat as Prospect League Western Division champions with a roster that includes a quartet of Wabash Valley players. Indiana State University standouts Tyler Wampler and Josh Dove will reunite with former Little League and high school rivals Cody Gardner (Wright State), Tim Johnson (Vincennes) and Bryan Nacke (Vincennes) for the summer season.
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- ISU track sending record 22 to postseason