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Sycamore hoops center joins football team

Myles Walker, Festus Ezeli

Indiana State center Myles Walker, left, shoots over Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli, right, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. Indiana State upset Vanderbilt 61-55. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


We’ve seen basketball players move to the gridiron before, with mixed success. There’s the path followed by former Duke guard Greg Paulus, who transferred to Syracuse and struggled in a one-year stint at quarterback. Then there’s the much more successful path followed by former Cal star Tony Gonzalez and Kent State’s Antonio Gates, both of whom found Canton-worthy careers on the gridiron.

Myles Walker, a center at Indiana State, will be taking a hybrid road, taking a one-year shot as a defensive end/tight end at the FCS level and staying true to his school. At 6'8", 250 lbs., Walker was highly recruited as a football player, but chose to hit the hardwood instead. He was a three-time Texas All-State football player coming out of San Antonio.

Walker played just two years of hoops for the Sycamores, and never blossomed into the dominant force he could have been. He averaged 23 minutes, but averaged just 7.1 points per game.

ISU football coach Trent Miles told the Terre Haute Tribune Star that Walker will have to work hard to get into football shape.

“[Getting ready for football] will have a lot to do with [ISU strength coach] Dave McManus training him for football stuff until we get to camp. A lot of it will involve lifting and that sort of thing. When we get him, we’ll train him on technique,” Miles said. “He’s played football, so it’s not like he’s someone who hasn’t played before.”

Walker is unconcerned that his sojourn into basketball will affect his football aspirations.

“It won’t be that much of a problem. I’ll have pads on, but it won’t change much. I’ve been running hills at Deming Park in this heat. I’ll be ready,” Walker said.

He’ll be ready. Whether his football opponents will be ready for his giant frame is another question entirely.

Eric Angevine is editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.