Walls Still Working the Same

Redshirt freshman LaKeith Walls is still getting comfortable in his new role as a running back.

CHAMPAIGN - Lakeith Walls has been a back of some sorts since arriving at Illinois prior to last season.

He started out in the secondary, redshirting as a freshman, before moving to the offensive backfield this spring.

That move was made for depth purposes, a switch made more significant this week after the dismissal of Dami Ayoola. Walls has gone from a 6-foot-2, 210 pound safety to a tough-running tailback potentially a play or two away from being a contributor.

Regardless of the circumstances, Walls says he's not approaching things differently.

"I've just got to keep working regardless if Dami was still with us or if he wasn't," Walls said. "It's really no different outlook. I'm working to get where I want to be."

The Cleveland, Ohio native still has a ways to go. Devin Church was moved from wideout to running back and was immediately slotted ahead of Walls in Ayoola's place.

That's OK, Walls indicated. He expressed remorse on behalf of Ayoola and excitement for his roommate Church.

He's not necessarily focused on playing time as much as he is getting ready in case getting on the field does happen.

"The transition hasn't been hard," he said. "It's just at this level it's a lot of learning. You've got to be accountable for more than just yourself. I've got to be able to protect my quarterback and support the linemen, so it's hard but it's what I love to do."

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