September 19, 2008

Defenders Stymied by Walters’ Speed

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You can learn a lot of things at Cornell, but the one thing that you can’t learn is speed. You either have it or you don’t. Junior wideout Bryan Walters is one of the few who has it.
Whether he is streaking past opposing defensive backs or dissecting punt coverages, the Bothell, Wash., native has become a valuable weapon for the Red.
“I love full out running, just sprinting,” Walters said. “I think the deep ball [is my strength], definitely. The ability to stretch the defense is one my favorite things to do. [Senior quarterback] Nate [Ford] puts some air under it and I just got to run under it.”
Walters led the 2007 squad with 592 receiving yards and four scores. More impressively, his achievements landed him on the national radar — ranking him No. 15 in the country in all-purpose yards per game with 170.2 and No. 22 in punt returns with 11.1 yards per return.
Walters will keep opposing defenses honest and demand downfield coverage at all times, which should open up more running and passing lanes underneath for Cornell.
After an impressive sophomore campaign in which he led the Ivy League in all-purpose yards, Walters will not be able to catch the opposition flat-footed this year. In the offseason, Walters has worked particularly hard on his route running.
“You don’t want to give away your route, especially with everything being about the deep ball,” Walters said. “We worked on a lot of little things that will definitely make a huge difference on the field. You still have to go out and work hard every day because there’s a lot of competition.”