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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Final Edition Of 'Toney's Take' Perhaps Hints Which Way He's Leaning Regarding 2010?

Each week during football season, tailback Toney Baker contributes a column to Technician entitled Toney's Take, touching on issues regarding the team, himself and college life in general. He filed his final column this week leading up to the Carolina game.

He touched on being granted a sixth year of eligibility, the Carolina game and his plans for the future:
I’ll be graduating this December, but this may not be the last Carolina-State game you see me in. I finally got approved for that sixth year, which I talked a little bit about last week. I think it’s great that I got the sixth year. It’s a great opportunity and a blessing to get more time. A lot of people don’t get that opportunity.

I’ll make the decision over the next couple of weeks; not too long after the Carolina game. I’ve got to talk to my dad, whose opinion I respect as much as anyone’s, coach [Tom] O’Brien, the rest of the coaching staff and a lot of other people. I want to come back, but I also want to figure out what’s best for my future.


I just want to say thanks for following the column, and thanks to all the fans who supported me and my comeback. I’m really thankful that everyone stuck through the year, even though I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I’ve had a blast playing here. I’m not sure what my future holds, but I’m want to thank everyone for being a part of Wolfpack Nation – we do it all for you.

We’ll see you at the game, one last time.

Emphasis mine, but those two snippets stood out to me as potential hints to which way Toney may be leaning on his decision. Certainly there are a lot of factors to consider and a lot of input to digest from those he trusts, as he mentioned, but if I had to guess where he's at after reading that, I'd say Saturday will be his final game in a Wolfpack uniform.

I don't agree with the decision from a strictly NFL-preparation standpoint. I don't think he's "wowed" enough to improve his draft stock and he's not logged enough injury-free starts to distance himself from the two years lost to knee injuries. However, the overriding factor in Baker's decision may not involve the NFL, so we'll see.

As a side note, it's rare to get a glimpse of life as a collegiate football or basketball player first-hand. Most communication that comes from the program is heavily filtered through compliance folks, the coaching staff, the Sports Information Department, etc., all in an effort to minimize the risk of "loose lips sinking ships." It's the logical thing to do, but it also robs it of the color that humanizes these Big Men On Campus that we cheer and jeer from afar.

Certainly Toney's Take isn't shot straight from the hip; it's not a transcription of Toney's Tweets or anything. It's as told to Technician's sports editor, but for the most part it's Toney in his own words. So I hate that it's coming to an end and I hope the folks at my old stomping grounds pick up the feature again in the near future. Perhaps a Tracy's Take? A Mays' Minutes? How about A Painter's Picture Worth 1,000 Words? (That one's a bit wordy...I'm flexible on the title.)


  1. well, next year's game will be at UNC, so he could mean this is the last time he'll get to play at home against the holes.

    i wouldn't read too much into it.

  2. this quote seemed to be more of a hint that the ones you cited ... "I’ll be graduating this December, but this may not be the last Carolina-State game you see me in."

    although, i don't like the fact that he called it the carolina-state game... it's the state-carolina game, tony!!