Redshirt freshman Arron Baker shines as Alcorn running back

For the past 12 years, Alcorn State University Braves football running back and Belle Glade, Fla. native Arron Baker has toted the pigskin, but it wasn’t until he earned a scholarship when he realized what his beloved sport could do for his education.

“I started taking football serious when I found out that it could pay for college,” said Baker, who is a redshirt freshman and a sports management major.

Baker, whose bruising, downhill running style is reminiscent of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and hall of famer Jerome Bettis, has had a terrific season. He leads the Braves in touchdowns with 13 and has racked up 682 rushing yards this season. Baker’s hard work in practice has skyrocketed his college football career to levels he never expected.

“I’m excited because as a redshirt freshman, I didn’t expect to play as much as I have. I’m thankful for the opportunity. Each day, I work hard and focus on improving my skills as a running back during football practice.”

Baker’s success on the gridiron has caught the attention of those outside of Alcorn. He was added to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List, which honors the top first-year players on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level of college football. True freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible for the Rice Award. The winner of this honor will be announced at The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation Dec. 15 in Philadelphia, PA.

“It is an honor to be added to the Jerry Rice Watch List. I was elated when I heard the news. Mr. Rice was an outstanding football player in college and the NFL. I also admired his commitment to giving back to the community through supporting several foundations and organizations that are doing phenomenal work for the betterment of others.”

As the Braves prepare to take on the Southern University Jaguars in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship game in Houston, Texas on Saturday, Baker attributes the team’s success to hard work and dedication.

“It is a goal for every football team to play in a championship game. I was always taught that it takes everyone playing their part and knowing their position to build a strong team. It confirms that hard work is rewarding at the end of the season.”

Baker hopes that one day, his college success will land him a spot in the National Football League (NFL).

“Playing in the NFL is definitely a dream of mines. I pray that it is in God’s plan for me. Until then, I will continue working hard and giving my very best each football season.”