Agnew to transfer to Southern Illinois
Former OSU running back Malcolm Agnew is leaving Oregon State
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 03:03
Sophomore running back Malcolm Agnew of the Oregon State football team announced Monday he will no longer be a Beaver.
Agnew has opted to transfer to Southern Illinois University, a Football Championship Series program that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“It was hard,” Agnew said. “I love this school, I love Beaver Nation and I love my teammates. It was a really hard decision because I invested a lot in the place.”
After breaking out in the first game of his collegiate career as a freshman — 223 yards and three touchdowns against Sacramento State on Sept. 3, 2011 — it went downhill for Agnew.
Limited with nagging hamstring injuries, Agnew only played in five games for the rest of the 2011 season. He was still the team’s leading rusher that year, with 423 yards and five touchdowns.
Heading into the 2012 season, it was a race between him and redshirt freshman Storm Woods for the starting running back position.
Woods won the job and kept it. Agnew was the backup running back, but eventually got passed over by sophomore Terron Ward, and was subjected to special teams duties and being third in the pecking order for carries.
“No one likes to slip on the depth chart,” Agnew said. “It was the longest season of my life.”
Agnew only saw double-digit carries in three games in 2012 — against Wisconsin, Washington State and Nicholls State — and was third on the team in rushing attempts.
He saw his carries go down from 89 to 63 from 2011 to 2012, and after Ward’s emergence against Arizona State, received only 13 carries in the final four Pac-12 games.
In the final three conference games, he did not even see the field in two key games for the Beavers — against Stanford and Oregon — and only had six carries against California, all in the fourth quarter of a blowout.
“I learned how to be a good teammate through it all,” Agnew said. “You have to swallow your pride and just really root for the guys.”
Woods winning the job over Agnew may have proven awkward, as they were roommates their freshman year and grew to be close friends in their time here.
But Agnew didn’t let it faze him, he embraced it instead.
“I really learned to root for Storm,” Agnew said. “It actually brought us closer. When I won the job as a freshman, he was my biggest fan. So when he won the job, it was my turn to do the same for him.”
Losing playing time was the main factor that led to Agnew’s decision to leave OSU. He chose SIU because it was close to home.
Carbondale, Ill., is just a 114-mile drive to his hometown of Chesterfield, Mo.
Another reason behind joining the Salukis is joining forces with his brother, Ray Agnew, a senior fullback on the team.
“When we were in high school together, we had a chance to [play together], but we never did,” Agnew said. “I’m really looking forward to that and think we could really do some damage together.”
Agnew had been to Southern Illinois games in the past to see his brother, and is acquainted with the coaches.
He’s also familiar with Clete McLeod, SIU’s head strength and conditioning coach, who spent four years as an assistant before taking a job with the Salukis.
Aside from the teammates, friends and fans Agnew leaves behind, his girlfriend, Amanda, a sophomore at OSU, is who he’ll miss the most.
“She’s been very understanding,” Agnew said. “She actually wanted me to leave, because she saw I kind of was not really myself ... She realized the toll it was taking on me. She wants the best for me, and wherever I’m happy, she’s happy.”
Agnew will leave OSU at the conclusion of winter term and has to take spring term off. He’ll join the Salukis for summer workouts.
It’s clear this was a big catch for SIU, and Agnew hopes to be the starting running back with his brother blocking right in front of him.
“Nothing’s ever given to me,” Agnew said. “They see me as being ‘their guy,’ but I have to go and earn it just like I would anywhere else in the country.”
Agnew ran for 692 yards and six touchdowns on 152 carries in his two years at Oregon State.