By RICH STEVENS
DAILY MAIL ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
When it comes to replacing an all-West Virginia Conference performer and a free agent signing of the Kansas City Chiefs, University of Charleston running back C.J. Stallworth knows he doesn't have to carry the load, just some of it.
Then again, he's more than prepared to do what's necessary.
The junior and the Golden Eagles will open the 2013 season in the newly minted Mountain East Conference at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Shaw University at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
It's likely a committee of backs will be called upon to replace the production from former star Jordan Roberts, who was signed as an NFL free agent by the Chiefs, but recently released.
The other guy expected to share the load is senior Leighton Settle, a transfer from Mid-American Conference member Northern Illinois.
It's likely that Stallworth will lead the way after adding 15 pounds of muscle and the desire to finish runs.
"I'd say I would carry the ball, probably, 20 times a game," said Stallworth, who averaged 3.3 carries a game last year and just eight per contest in high school at Orange Park (Fla.).
The addition of 15 pounds of muscle to his 5-foot, 10-inch frame has given Stallworth just the right amount of bulk without diminishing his speed while working out with a trainer and his high school head coach, Craig Nosse.
"I also ran every day," Stallworth said. "Once I lifted I knew I had to run to be able to hold the weight. I feel, physically, I'm in shape and I have the right amount of weight on me to handle such a load. I feel comfortable doing so."
Last season his opportunities were limited behind Roberts, who had 238 carries (21.6 per game), and backup quarterback John Knox, who had 84 in 11 games, and starting QB Maurice Leak, who was credited with 56 carries.