Quotes From Andrew Walter's Press Conference
Jan. 9, 2004
Quarterback Andrew Walter:
'The path I've been on at Arizona State has been a long journey filledwith many ups and downs. It has shaped and molded me into the personI am today. Along with the endless help of God, my parents, Coach Koetter, theentire coaching staff, teammates, friends, relatives, alumni, NFLpersonnel and a select few outside of the Sun Devil family who withouttheir help would have made this decision impossible. They haveenabled me to come to one of the toughest decisions I've ever made.It is one that I know is right for me. I have chosen to stay for mysenior year at Arizona State. I have no reservations about mydecision and there is no looking back. Some of the reasons includethat I would like to graduate this spring; I want to finish what Istarted here at Arizona State and leave on a high note. When I docome out I'll be a year older, bigger, better, tougher and smarter.'
Head Coach Dirk Koetter:
'This is Andrew's day. I'm elated. This just shows that there is aprocess in place that can work. Andrew did send his paperwork in andthe NFL communicated back to him where he was projected to bedrafted. When you sit in Andrew's seat it can be very confusingbecause you have a lot of different people shooting different thingsat you and it's not all accurate. I think it's the right decisionfor him and it's certainly a great decision for our program. We'reexcited he's coming back and I think he made a great decision forhimself and for us.'
On preparing for his decision
'They said that I would have been a very high draft pick. They'repretty conservative in what they say but it was my understandingthat if I would have gone through the process I would have been verypleased with where I would of went in the draft. What I tried to dowas hear their side of it. You can talk to agents which is notillegal, and you can talk to coaches, parents, relatives and you cantry to paint your own picture of what everyone says.
On finishing out his career at ASU
'I didn't want to go out the way we went out. I want to end up on avery high note as a team. Records and awards had nothing to do withmy decision. It's all about how I want to end on a high note withthis team and with the school and leave it in good hands once I go.
On the possibility of leaving ASU
'Many times during the season I said, 'This could be it.' At the endof the season my dad gave me some pretty good advice. He said tojust let the dust settle and not to make a decision based on where Iwas at right now and the results of the year. After that I decidedthis was definitely the choice for me but I went back and forthduring the season. Regardless where I would have been taken I knew Icould compete at the next level.
On when he decided to stay at ASU
'About a week after the season I really started to get into it andtalking to people. After that was when I started to weigh each sidepretty heavily. The first week that I started thinking about it Iwould say I was definitely leaning towards staying. It was just amatter of finishing the process and talking to people and makingsure that I was 100 percent sure.
On talking with Shaun McDonald
'I talked to Shaun (McDonald) and he said that you need to do what'sright for you and when you do it make sure you're 100 percent sureit's what you want. I know if I stay that next year I'll have alegitimate chance to be the number one pick. That's never reallybeen a goal or a reason to stay but when I talked to him (McDonald)about it he said if you think you have a chance to be the number onepick you should go for it.
On playing with the team
'You figure that when you're in a tough situation there might begreener pastures on the other side, but that's not always the case.I also know that when things are frustrating and not going the wayyou want it to you either persevere or try to make due at the nextlevel. I didn't want to do that and finish where I started and endon a higher note as team, not as an individual.
On the possibility of getting injured during the season
'If I'm going to get hurt I'm going to get hurt. If I'm going tostay healthy I'm going to stay healthy. You try not to think aboutit as an athlete. I don't think it will be that big of a deal and ifit's going to happen it's going to happen.
On the money involved with playing in the NFL
'Having a year to prepare makes it that much easier to have thelongevity at the next level. If you make the minimum for one yearand you're out you still have to go out and work. This way I'll bebetter prepared for the longevity in the NFL and I'll have a degreeso the whole money issue won't be a problem.'
Asked if he was surprised by Andrew Walter's decision to stay'Surprised? No. Andrew, his parents and I have talked about thissubject on several occasions. Everything has been out there on thetable. I was the first one to tell Terrell (Suggs) last year that heshould go to the NFL. I personally think it's best for Andrew tostay. Over the years, the quarterbacks that typically had the mostsuccess stayed for their senior year.
'I always want to improve on the field and off the field. Anotheryear of maturity will help me out with that stuff.
On his parents
'My parents have always been unbelievable in what they say and do.If I had kids I would probably try to raise them like that. Theydon't say, 'we want you to do this' and 'we're forcing you to dothis.' They tell me the positives and say 'we'll support you inwhatever you do.''