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Walk-ons inject Bulldog presence at MU

Former Hardin-Central Bulldog football players Daniel Carpenter, left, Mark Carpenter and Patrick King, right, have all spent time as contributing walk-on football players at the University of Missouri. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By David Knopf/News Editor

There was an element of luck in former Hardin-Central football player Daniel Carpenter running an offensive series with the Missouri Tigers.

But as coaches love to say, players make their own luck with hard work and dedication.

That was the case with Carpenter, an MU junior who’d played offensive guard and linebacker on Hardin-Central’s eight-man team.

With a number of Missouri running backs ahead of him injured, the 6-foot, 220-pound walk earned the chance to run onto the Faurot Field turf against Western Illinois on Sept. 17.

Carpenter, who wears No. 41 for the Tigers, typically dresses for home games. But this time was different. The walk-on was given the honor being  named ahead of time to MU’s traveling squad.

Home or away, Missouri’s coaching staff picks a 65-man traveling team that spends the night before games at a hotel, has a pre-game meal together and participates in the legendary Tiger Walk into Memorial Stadium.

It’s a big deal, part of the glitter and glamor usually reserved for recruited scholarship players, the thoroughbreds fans love to watch on Saturday afternoon.

But this time, one of the players represented Hardin, Mo., with its population of 553 people.

The luck part – injuries to other tailbacks – opened the door for Carpenter, but he’d positioned  himself to walk through.

Being named to the traveling team was one thing, but getting into the game was another. That news was delivered on the Tiger sideline.

Read the complete story in the Oct. 6 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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