Nov 12, 2016; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks linbacker Keith Loneker Jr. (33) tackles Iowa State Cyclones running back Mike Warren (2) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
AMES — Mike Warren‘s been nursing a bum ankle ever since a Kansas State player drilled him with his helmet on Oct. 29.
His carries have diminished and freshmen phenoms David Montgomery and Kene Nwangwu are swiftly coming into their own.
But if you think that upsets the talented Iowa State sophomore — other than the injury, of course — he says that’s absolutely not the case. If anything, the opposite is true.
“I’m definitely going to stay here,” Warren said Tuesday when asked if he’d entertained thoughts of transferring. “Just for me, just watching those guys, those two grow up is fun for me, because I was once in their shoes, too. I was in that process. Right now I’m just at a mentoring standpoint, just helping those guys out with whatever they need. If they have any questions, I’ll probably be able to answer them.”
Warren said his ankle injury occurred during the 31-26 setback to the Wildcats — and it’s limited his time on the field significantly. Warren rushed for 496 yards and three touchdowns in the first seven games of the season. He’s totaled 51 yards on nine carries in the past three games — and sat out the 34-24 loss to Oklahoma entirely.
Warren rushed three times for 17 yards in Saturday’s 31-24 win at Kansas, but he and the coaches determined he should shut it down early and hope for more healing this week.
“It just wasn’t there,” said Warren, who led all freshman backs last season with 1,339 yards on the ground. “There was still a lot of soreness and everything.”
Warren’s first rush in that game went for eight yards. Even that, he said, wasn’t up to his standards.
“Probably could have done a lot more with that run,” he said.
Warren plans to try to play this week when high-flying Texas Tech (4-6, 2-5) takes on the Cyclones (2-8, 1-6) at 11 a.m. (FS1) at Jack Trice Stadium.
“Today it felt pretty good, but tomorrow it could feel like complete crap,” Warren said. “Just taking it day by day. I’m probably going to try to play again Saturday and just see how it is.”