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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Walters has pedigree, Reed making noise”

Mike Christy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Football vs. ASU.
Mike Christy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Football vs. ASU.

Having to replace accomplished defensive guru Duane Akina with a 25-year-old graduate assistant doesn’t exactly seem like a home run for the Wildcats and their secondary. But Ryan Walters, who was hired as Arizona’s secondary coach on Monday, not only has postseason experience with the program, he’s also earned the respect of his pupils.

After Greg Brown left for the Colorado in the weeks leading up to the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl, Walters took the reins as the Wildcats’ secondary coach. Losing a popular assistant like Brown could have rattled a young secondary, but Walters — Brown’s protégé — was just as capable, and even easier to relate to.

“”He knows his stuff,”” said senior safety Anthony Wilcox a week before the bowl game. “”He also brings playing experience that goes a long way for Arizona’s defensive backs.

“”You can respect someone who you’ve seen do what he’s asking you to do.””

Walters followed Brown to Arizona in August of 2010 after finishing up a stellar career at safety for the Buffaloes. He started 33 games for Colorado from 2005-08 and finished his senior year with 87 tackles, three fumble recoveries, seven pass deflections, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, earning him All-Big-12 honorable mention.

The second-youngest assistant in the Pac-10 has been receiving high praise from the Wildcats’ defensive backs, even before he was hired as the secondary coach.

“”He’s a great coach. He has a lot of technique stuff to teach us. He can relate to us a lot, so we like him a lot,”” said junior starting cornerback Robert Golden before the bowl game. “”He just finished playing himself, so he knows what it takes to go out there and get a good victory.””

When Wade was asked on Monday via Twitter about Walters as a coach he responded, “”@TwoStarWade: @Mike_Schmitz it’s cool! I just want someone to stay on top of me and make sure I’m going all out and Walters can do that! Good move!””

Brooks Reed turning heads at the combine

If NFL scouts weren’t familiar with Brooks Reed before the NFL Combine, they are now. Reed is surging up draft boards thanks to a stellar first four days at the all-important Combine.

“”Reed isn’t an elite athlete, but he has good short-area explosiveness and a nonstop motor that will have him off the board before Day 2 is over,”” ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay wrote.  

Reed ranked third among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (4.68 seconds) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.28 seconds), while tying for 10th in the bench press with 30 reps, and clocking the 11th-fastest time in the three-cone drill (7.11 seconds).


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