Arkansas Football Countdown: 35 Days - Morgan Linton

Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

2012 taught us why having a third-string fullback is important.

Prior to the 2012 season, Morgan Linton's claim to fame was returning the opening kick-off of the 2012 Cotton Bowl (see video below). It was a poor kick, making it nowhere near the intended kick returners, Dennis Johnson and Marquel Wade. Linton fielded the kick at the 25, broke outside, and made it all the way to Kansas State's 43 yard line before being forced out of bounds. That game seems like forever ago, doesn't it?

Flash-forward to September 2012. When starting FB Kiero Small (who one of my colleagues has aptly dubbed "The Facemask Assassin") and backup FB Kody Walker both had season-ending injuries, Linton was unexpectedly thrust into the starting role. Generally, fullback is not going to be a stats-heavy position, but Linton did end the season with 4 receptions for 37 yards. With Kiero Small returning to the lineup in 2013, and with newcomer Patrick Arinze looking like Kiero's heir apparent, Linton's role looks to be substantially reduced this season.

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