Hometown: Huntington, WV
Record: 28-17-2, Bowl Record: 0-2
Coach Don Nehlen pulled a solid running back recruit out from under the nose of Marshall in 1992: Robert Walker. He came onto a talented Mountaineer squad that featured talented tailback Adrian Murrell. He was the change of pace back in 1992, seeing limited carries. By 1993, Walker burst onto the scene, powering West Virginia to an undefeated regular season. His numbers would slow in his junior and senior season as the talent around him moved on to the NFL. While his career may have dimmed at the end, the memory of his sophomore season (and specifically his performance against Miami) shines on to this day.
Memorable Game: Obviously the game that is most memorable in Robert Walker’s career is the 1993 game between the 9th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and the 4th ranked Miami Hurricanes. The Mountaineers needed to beat the Hurricanes to possibly earn a chance to play for the National Championship. Similarly, Miami needed to beat WVU to earn the right to play for the title. What transpired that day, in front of a record crowd of 70,222 fans at Mountaineer Field, will be remembered as one of (if not the) greatest game in West Virginia football history. The game was a tight defensive showdown early on, with neither offense able to get into rhythm. The two teams would trade scores late in the game, with Miami taking a 14-10 lead late into the 4th quarter. Walker mad the signature play of his career with a 19 yard run down the left sideline to score the winning touchdown with 6:08 left in the game. The win would set the Mountaineers up with an Orange Bowl bid. Unfortunately, WVU could not win the National Championship in 1993, but it will be remembered as one of the best seasons in school history.
Competition: Walker had the most memorable performance of any of the players to wear #43. While his stats might not have been as impressive as Boo McLee, but when people think of the 1993 team, they think of his run vs Miami. No one really thinks of McLee’s performances for the great 2005 team.
Teaser: The weather is hot, and the countdown is just heating up as we get closer and closer to Mountaineer football. Tomorrow’s featured player is the preeminent pass rusher to have ever played in Morgantown. He put the heat on every quarterback he faced. All this talk of heat brings me back to Tony Curtis and the movie Some Like it Hot.