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Walters Born To Be A Buff

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  • Walters Born To Be A Buff

    Figured I'd Post this, Ryan is a great guy and this article was fantastic

    BOULDER — Ryan Walters must have been 2 years old, maybe 3, and probably squeezing a black-and-gold Nerf football when he first noticed an outline of goalposts against the walls of the University of Colorado family housing units.

    "Growing up in the shadow of" has become an overused cliche, but in this case, there's no hyperbole. When rays of a setting sun align just right, shadows from goalposts are cast toward apartment buildings east of the CU practice fields. Those university residences are reserved for couples and their children.

    Little Ryan's dad, Marc Walters, was down on those practice fields. Ryan was born in Los Angeles just days before Marc, a quarterback, took a winter recruiting trip to Colorado in 1986 and was offered a scholarship by Bill McCartney.

    The young Walters family lived in those family housing units while Marc was in school. The apartments remain in use today.

    "You'll hear people say, 'I was born to be a Buff.' But Ryan was really born a Buff," CU defensive backs coach Greg Brown said.

    Walters grew to be a 6-foot, 205-pound team captain playing free safety. Along with his fellow seniors, he will be playing in his final game Saturday at Folsom Field when Colorado faces No. 11 Oklahoma State. Walters might shed a tear during pregame introductions, but everyone agrees that his mother, Nicole, will be bawling her eyes out.

    There to escort Ryan on the field will be his wife, Tara, along with his parents.

    "It's a weird feeling, knowing it's about to end," Walters said. "I'm trying not to think about it too much, just trying to focus on the opponent. But it's a trip, man. Last game at Folsom Field. All my life, I wanted to play for the Buffs."

    Walters said his earliest memories included sitting in his mother's lap during home games while Marc quarterbacked the Buffaloes. The family remained in the university family housing while Marc attended CU law school. When Marc needed to study and couldn't attend games,
    they would turn on the TV or radio broadcast and open the balcony door. Young Ryan wanted to at least hear the roars from the stadium.

    "I feel like I've always been a part of the program in some way," Ryan said.

    With the goal of following in his father's footsteps, Ryan became a star quarterback at Grandview High in Aurora. It is unclear how highly recruited he might have become. He never allowed other schools a chance. Walters gave an oral commitment to then-Colorado coach Gary Barnett the spring before his senior season at Grandview.

    "Before that, I wanted to test him to make sure he really wanted to go to CU," said Marc Walters, an attorney for Sun Microsystems. "We were in L.A. visiting family and I drove near the Westwood area. I told Ryan that we should stop and check out the UCLA football program. He told me, 'No, Dad. I'm not interested.' "

    Looking back on his son's accomplishments, Marc is most proud of how Ryan has matured as a leader with his team and as a role model off the field. Ryan has been challenged by adversity countless times.

    He fractured a thumb while redshirting during his first season in 2004. He had to learn how to be a defensive back after requesting a move from quarterback as a freshman. Regarded as the hardest hitter on the team, Walters banged up his shoulder dozens of times while making a tackle and even knocked himself out — suffering a concussion last year against Missouri before returning to play against Nebraska and in the Independence Bowl against Alabama.

    Nothing, however, could prepare him for April 14. Late in Tara's eighth month of pregnancy, Audrey Lynn Walters was stillborn. Ryan and Tara held their daughter at the hospital. Players and coaches attended the funeral. Later, Ryan had a tattoo of one of her tiny footprints put on his chest. Next to the footprint are angel wings.

    "Sad deal," CU coach Dan Hawkins said. "I think his family was a huge benefit to him, and his faith, and the kind of kid he is. Ryan and Tara had a big support group here. But that's tough on anyone."

    Ryan said Tara's inner strength helped him get through it. Tara said the same about Ryan.

    "He has always had the personality that can help people when they have problems," Tara said. "A lot of players on the team come to Ryan for advice."

    If pro football doesn't work out, Walters has a job waiting for him. Dan Hawkins wants Walters to become a graduate assistant, believing he has what it takes to become an outstanding coach.

    "There was a young kid playing outside the fence (of the CU practice fields) the other day," Hawkins said. "Ryan looked at the kid and said, 'Coach Hawk. That was me, right there.' "
    Link


    I really do hope he gets a chance in the Pro's, if anyone deserves the "Heart Award" we give out...it's this guy.

  • #2
    Loved the article, thanks for the link....

    brings a new meaning to "born to be....."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Rockies24 View Post
      Loved the article, thanks for the link....

      brings a new meaning to "born to be....."
      No problem, gotta say I'm surprised at the amount of replies Like CU or not, it says alot about a person when they know right from the start where they want to go

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by str8jacket View Post
        No problem, gotta say I'm surprised at the amount of replies Like CU or not, it says alot about a person when they know right from the start where they want to go
        Sad to see him get hurt in his final game at Folsom...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rockrules40 View Post
          Sad to see him get hurt in his final game at Folsom...
          It was, he tried so hard to get the coaches to let him play

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