Wallace Just Wants to Run, Run, Run

On what had to be the coldest day of practice in this 2001 Marshall football season, the blustery temps didn't matter much to Herd running back Franklin Wallace. Wallace, sidelined by a hamstring pull for most of the season, stayed busy running up and down the sidelines. Run. Run. Run.

"It doesn't really matter what anybody else says," Wallace said after practice Tuesday afternoon. "It's how I feel."

And how Franklin Wallace feels is…good. For once, Wallace is feeling good about returning to action as Marshall hosts Bowling Green this Saturday evening at Marshall Stadium. He hasn't felt good in quite some time, to be honest. Coming into the season, the 5-10, 205 pound running back from Myrtle Beach, SC was tabbed as just one side of the 'three-headed' running attack for the Herd, along with Brandon Carey and Chanston Rodgers.

But late in summer drills, Wallace pulled the hamstring…Carey turned an ankle…and against UMass, Rodgers went down for the season with a knee injury. On top of that, Wallace went in against UMass and only aggravated the hamstring further. And that left only Trod Buggs to carry the ball for the Herd. Which Buggs did quite well against the Minutemen, running for 128 yards.

Franklin Wallace looks to return to action against BGSU.

And all the while, Franklin Wallace took things slow. That's because a hamstring injury is the one injury that no treatment will accelerate the healing process. "When I pulled it, I pulled it up high," Wallace said. "Just slowly but surely, I'm gradually working my way back into working out. I had about two weeks off to do that. Then, the TCU game was called off, and for me, that was an even bigger break."

"Right now, I feel a lot better than I did before the UMass game."

Wallace then admitted that playing in the UMass game was probably a bad decision, in crystal clarity that only hindsight can provide.

Which leads us to the conclusion that, yes, we'll see Franklin Wallace once again running all over the place this Saturday night against Bowling Green. And not a moment too soon, as the Falcons are on a tear, going 3-0 to start the season and take a quick lead in the MAC East race. The Falcons are for real.

The thought of finally getting in one game, injury-free, just lights up Wallace. "It's indescribable," Wallace said. "You work so hard during the summer, then you go out here and injure your hamstring. This is really the first injury that I've had to sit out."

"Now, when I come out here, I feel really energized," Wallace added. "I just want to play."

And then, Franklin Wallace summed up things for those who maybe think that this 2001 Marshall team is off to a rocky start, losing at Florida and beating up on a 1-AA team. "We had the (suspension) situation, and everybody had to sit out. I think this week we'll have everybody back," he said. "The fans, ESPN, the BCS…whoever forgot about The Herd, they're going to find out this Saturday.

"Because everybody is coming back, and we're ready to play."


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