Rice football running back Aston Walter will return to South Main in 2019 after being granted an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA.
In what has to be seen as a sign of good fortune for Rice football as the team heads into 2019, the NCAA has granted running back Aston Walter an additional year of eligibility. The young team will be flush with freshman and sophomore on the two-deep this fall. That makes the retention of a veteran leader who can contribute to the team on and off the field extremely important.
Aston signed with Rice in 2014 his brother Austin Walter. After redshirting his freshman season, Aston saw minimal usage in 2015 — 10 carries for 41 games. He scored his first touchdown in 2015, carrying the ball 23 times for 141 yards, also catching two touchdown passes.
The 2017 season was lost almost entirely. Aston registered a single carry against UTEP before suffering a shoulder injury which sidelined him for the year. He returned to a crowded backfield in 2018, fighting for carries with his brother Austin, Emmanuel Esukpa and later freshman Juma Otoviano.
Aston came in on spot duty throughout the year, picking important third downs and making big plays. As the season progressed, he proved to be one of the most reliable ball carriers on the team. His consistency earned him more touches and he made those touches count.
In his fifth year on campus, Aston saw some of his most productive games of this collegiate career last season. He tallied 72 yards rushing against Louisiana Tech and LSU in consecutive weeks, just the second and third time rushing for more than 50 yards in his career.
He returns to a backfield in 2019 which he’ll share with Otoviano and freshman Jawan King, among others.