MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston said he’s taking a “mad at the world” attitude to minicamp with the New Orleans Saints.
Alston went unpicked in last weekend’s NFL draft, but received a free-agent offer from the Saints within hours of the draft ending.
“I thought I had a chance to get drafted maybe in the sixth or seventh round, but I also realized that my injuries in college were a concern to a lot of teams,” Alston told MetroNews “Sportsline” on Monday night.
Alston tied for the WVU team lead with seven rushing touchdowns as a senior, but he missed five games and was limited in two others by a deep thigh bruise, resulting in a 75-carry season. He missed a chunk of his junior season while recovering from a neck injury stemming from a car crash.
Self-described as “100-percent healthy” after four months of predraft training, Alston heads to New Orleans on May 9, hoping to earn a spot in a rotation that includes 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram, seventh-year veteran Pierre Thomas and versatile scatback Darren Sproles.
“I definitely feel like I have something to prove, like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” Alson said. “I’m just mad at the world right now and I’m ready to go in there and show people what I can do.
“If you look at their running back situation, they use a variety of books and they have a great rotation.”
That rotation thinned out Friday when the Saints dealt Chris Ivory to the Jets for a fourth-round pick. The 25-year-old Ivory played three years with New Orleans after being signed as an undrafted free agent. That’s the same route Thomas took to a starring role with the Saints.
“I thought I had a chance to get drafted maybe in the sixth or seventh round, but I also realized that my injuries in college were a concern to a lot of teams.” — Shawne Alston
“Some people wanted me to come tryout at minicamp and some people were offering deals,” said Alston, who watched the late rounds of the draft from his home in Newport News, Va. Though some local fans hoped the Steelers might be a fit for Alston, he said they weren’t among the 12 teams who showed interest in him.
“If I would have gotten a call from the Steelers, I definitely would have considered them,” Alston said, “but I had to roll with who wanted me.
“I feel like that (Ivory trade) left a void in their offense and hopefully I can go in there and fill it.”