Quarterback Andrew Walter
College: Arizona State
Birthday: May 11, 1982
Strengths: Andrew Walter posted some really gaudy stats in 2002. Take a look below. They’re a sneeze from 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. He set Arizona State single season records for attempts, completions, and passing yardage, besting former Sun Devil quarterbacks like Danny White and Jake Plummer. Now here’s the impressive part: Walter didn’t even become the starter until the fifth game of the season.
Actually, Walter was all set to start the fourth game of the season, but a tweaked knee injury in that week’s practice kept him on the bench to watch his team falter to a 22-point deficit against San Diego State. In desperation, Walter came off the bench and ignited a rally to spark the biggest comeback in Sun Devil history. He went on to finish a spectacular sophomore season, highlighted by his 414 yards and five TD passes against Stanford the following week, then later his 536 yards against Oregon established a new PAC-10 single game record.
A pocket passer that really looks at home between the tackles, Walter has the ideal size and premium arm strength to be a hot commodity among NFL scouts. In fact, his might be one of the strongest arms in all of college football. He added nine pounds this offseason to body that was already capable of throwing a 60-yard bomb off-balance with barely the flick of his wrist. And inside that body lives a true student of the game, someone who turns his eyes bloodshot red watching tapes of his idol, Joe Montana.
Areas for Concern: Well, he’s no Montana, not that he thinks he is anyway. Walter, who’s no longer the same secret phenom that he was a year ago, is under a lot of pressure this fall to prove that 2002 was no fluke. This time around, he’ll need to produce victories, not just yards. His 5-7 record as a starter is not the stuff of champions just yet. And speaking of his stats, part of their outrageousness was predicated on Arizona State just not being a great football team last year. Without a running attack, an aerial assault was the only way the Sun Devils were ever able to move the football.
Walter needs some work on his mechanics. Things like where he holds the football, finding the right release point, and quickening that release will help him take his game to a higher level. He had several multiple interception games last season. Walter will need to learn to better read what a defense is giving him and take what he can get to prevent those turnovers.
While he moves in the pocket like Baryshnikov, his footspeed outside of it isn’t as promising. Sacked over thirty times last year, he’s a pretty big target for pass rushers. Walter suffered a hit in the back during the Holiday Bowl that caused his vertebrae to chip in two different places. The injury took a long time to heal over the offseason, limiting him in spring practice and from getting more work done in the weight room. Learning to find that outlet receiver before it’s too late will help keep him off the trainer’s table.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? As a junior, it seems unlikely that Walter would leave college early next spring, but if his draft stock continues to ascend, then it might be too tough of an opportunity for him to pass up. A matured, intense competitor, he might be better off staying at Arizona State one more season and challenge to be the top quarterback selected in the 2005 draft, assuming his progress continues. Either way, don’t expect the Texans to give him much thought unless something completely dreadful happens.
(profile written by Keith Weiland)
Andrew Walter’s 2002 Stats G ATT CMP % YDS TD INT 14 483 274 56.7 3,877 28 15 Andrew Walter Return to The War Room
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