October 28, 2008

Stallworth embracing fullback role

Arnil Stallworth seemed to be the forgotten man in the backfield coming into this season.

But the past four games, Stallworth has emerged in backfield as a receiving threat adding another weapon in the Bulldogs arsenal.

"Coach designed a few plays to get me out in the flats and run a few screens," Stallworth said. "Teams don't expect fullbacks to run a lot of screens. We surprised them with that. We were able to get big plays off of it."

Stallworth did not have a touch on offense during Mississippi State's first four games but has come on strong as of late hauling in nine passes for 120 yards. Stallworth led the Bulldogs in receiving this past weekend against Middle Tennessee with four catches for 60 yards in his first start at fullback.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder is a converted running back and had reservations about making the move to fullback during Liberty Bowl practice last season.

"At first I was concerned about it going into our bowl game last year," Stallworth said. "I was playing fullback then. I kind of surprised me. Coming into this season I didn't want to play fullback because I've played running back my whole life. But I thought about it and if I can make it happen and get on the field then fullback is what I am going to do. It's been working out very well so far."

Offseason shoulder surgery kept Stallworth sidelined during spring practice thus preventing progression at his new position as well as in the game plan coming into fall camp.



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