August 28, 2017

(STATS) - If Albany All-America running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks is too injured to play in the season opener Saturday, Great Danes coach Greg Gattuso jokes that Old Dominion stud Ray Lawry should be held out as well.

"That seems fair to us," Gattuso said with a wish Monday.

Lawry and his 1,255 rushing yards last year will be there in Norfolk, Virginia, but Ibitokun-Hanks may not when No. 24 Albany tries to beat an FBS opponent for the second consecutive year. Ibitokun-Hanks, a STATS FCS Preseason All-American, rushed for 1,388 yards and 16 touchdowns last season despite missing the last game because of a torn ACL.

"We're going to see if he can practice this week," Gattuso said. "He had a different injury about a week or so a go. We're just trying to assess him right now, and we're hoping that he can play, but I don't know that right now. We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst."

Albany opened last season with a first-ever FBS win at Buffalo. The Great Danes went on to finish 7-4, but were one of the last two teams to miss on an FCS at-large playoff bid.

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