September 5, 2008

Introducing the Big Red: Bryan Walters

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It’s hard to say which aspect of junior wide receiver Bryan Walters’ game defines him best. At different points last year, he showed the ability to catch the ball anywhere on the field, a knack for slipping tacklers, good game smarts and breakaway speed.
The 6-1 economics major out of Bothell, Washington has spent the last two seasons reaching into his box of tools to outrun his coverage as well as return punts. In his career, Walters has piled up 144.4 all-purpose yards per game — second on Cornell’s all-time list behind Heisman runner-up, Ed Marinaro.
As a sophomore, Walters set new school records in punt return yards in a season, with 345 yards. After one particularly good performance against Princeton, Walters was named Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week.
With half of his career left, Walters is already the most prolific punt returner in Red history with 619 yards. [img_assist|nid=31446|title=Catch me if you can|desc=Junior receiver Bryan Walters (18) is one of the football team’s key receivers.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Walters’ sophomore campaign also made noise in the national rankings. He led the Ivy League in all-purpose yards and was nationally ranked in that category (15th), as well as in punt-return yardage (22nd).
As a receiver, Walters had 48 catches last year, totaling 592 yards and four touchdowns. Against Princeton, he caught 10 passes for 115 yards and followed that up with over 100 yards the next week.
A three-time Ivy League Player of the Week in 2006, Walters also earned Cornell’s Jeff Strenstrom Award, presented to the player who contributed the most to the special teams efforts. Walter’s 274 yards in punt returns that season broke a 58-year-old Cornell season record, and an 88-yard return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a game against Penn proved to be the game winner.
Capable of making plays on the outside, Walters’ speed forces defenses to stretch thin, giving the Red a deep threat and opening more passing lanes for Cornell’s west coast style offense.