Six foot five and a hundred and ninety-nine pounds.
Sounds pretty good for one of our new wide receivers huh?
Well, when people ask me if I was always the size I am today, I just laugh. Because this was what the program read under my name when I was playing defensive end coming out of high school.
Thank God that Coach Clements saw something others couldn’t.
Growing up, I was always the tallest kid, but for some reason, I just couldn’t keep the weight on.
Because of this, my main sport was actually hoops. Even as I started to play football when I got to high school, my main focus was still on the court and I thought it would be my ticket to playing college ball.
But one day, my high school coach pulled me aside and said, “If you really work on it, you just might turn into a football player.”
I hadn’t really thought about it at that point since I was busy playing every other sport, but something about that comment really stuck with me.
I wasn’t getting any taller and I really wasn’t athletic enough to play the two guard for our basketball team, so it opened my eyes to the opportunities that football could provide.
So with coach’s comments in my head and a hunger to get to the next level anyway possible, my family and I started attending camps anywhere reachable by car from our home in Muenster, Texas.
But with every camp, even though I was performing well and could see coaches eyes lighting up, no one really knew what to do with me.
I guess I can’t really blame them.
I was athletic and knew how to play the game, but coaches are looking at size for the next level.
Not just some lengthy kid from a small high school.
But I wasn’t giving up.
Thankfully, a few smaller schools offered me, which started the snowball effect. And after a few visits from other schools, I eventually got a call from Stillwater.
Coach Clements was interested but just couldn’t make his mind up. I certainly didn’t have a Big 12 body, and he just couldn’t figure out if I was going to grow into my frame.
But there was one visit that changed things.
Coach met my Dad.
At 6’9 and 280 pounds, my dad showed Coach Clements that the Walterscheids had the right genes, I just needed a little more time.
At least that’s what he thought.
So with that visit, Coach gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, to play Big 12 football for Oklahoma State. I knew I was undersized, but there was no way I was going to ruin this opportunity. Once I got on campus, I had a job to do.
When most people think about gaining weight, they don’t really realize that’s what it is….
When I got on campus, just over two hundred pounds, I knew there were some hours I needed to put in, and not just in the gym.
It honestly seemed like all I did was eat for the next six months.
I’d eat lunch and dinner just like the rest of the team, but thirty minutes after each meal, I’d go make another plate and start the process over.
Was it always fun? No.
The late night protein shakes and midnight runs to Whataburger felt like too much sometimes.
I know this sounds like a dream to some, but you know that feeling after Thanksgiving? Ya, that was me all the time. But with the whole staff trying to help me reach my goal, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
I still remember every time I saw Coach Gundy, he’d just look at me and ask if I was eating…..
He probably couldn’t tell yet, but like I said, I always had a full stomach.
Of course, because of my size, I redshirted that first season. But I was fine with that because I could spend more time at the gym and focus on becoming the player my team would need for the future.
And when that first Spring rolled around, the work I put in showed.
Going from 210 to 242 pounds, it was the most muscle I had ever put on.
As I started to hold my own a little bit in our drills, I saw that I could be the fifth guy in our D-line rotation. I knew it might be a longshot, but so was coming to Stillwater so I decided to just put in the work and see what happens.
And even after I earned my starting spot, that’s the same example I’ve tried to set for our younger guys.
People will always doubt you.
There will always be voices saying you won’t amount to anything.
But use that as motivation. As long as you have a hunger for greatness and are willing to work at this game like it’s your job, you can prove everyone wrong and achieve any goal you have.
Even if you’re some skinny kid from Muenster.
So for my final season, I want to end things with this same mentality.
No matter how things end up, I just want to leave it all out on the field. With every play, I want people to just see that I was the guy who treated this game like a job and played it the right way.
But in the end, none of this would have been possible without my family.
The only reason I’ve gotten to the point I am today, making plays and in Big 12 football, it all started at home. With parents who raised me with good work ethic, my dedication to this game wouldn’t be possible without my foundation.
Thank you to all that have been a part of it.
Cole Walterscheid | Contributor
Defensive End, Oklahoma State University