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Miss. State’s Dontae’ Walker Leaves Team

November 26, 2002

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Mississippi State tailback Dontae’ Walker is no longer a member of the team, Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill said Monday night.

The 245-pound senior left the sideline Saturday during the first quarter of Mississippi State’s game against Arkansas and didn’t return.

Sherrill said he met with Walker on Monday.

``He and I both came to the conclusion that it is best to go get his studies in order,″ Sherrill said.

Walker began the season as a starter but has fallen off the depth chart in recent weeks. He carried the ball just once against Tennessee two weeks ago.

Sherrill would not say why Walker left the field Saturday.

``That’s kind of a private matter,″ Sherrill said.

Walker came to Mississippi State as a highly regarded recruit.

His best season was 2000, when he combined with Dicenzo Miller to make Mississippi State the No. 1 rushing team in the Southeastern Conference.

His production dropped off last season, but the Bulldogs were hoping for a big season from him this year.

Instead, he reported to camp 20 pounds overweight, was hampered by ankle and shoulder injuries and ended up having his worst season. Walker finished with 148 yards rushing and 2.6 yards per carry.

Sophomore Fred Reid and freshman Jerious Norwood have moved ahead of Walker on the depth chart at tailback.

Mississippi State (3-7, 0-7) plays Mississippi on Thanksgiving night, trying to avoid its first winless SEC season in 14 years.

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