Benton’s Walters could step up as a college prospect this fall

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

There’s abundant quarterback talent locally in the Class 2023, including today’s prospect out of a strong Benton High School program.

Gray Walters, who stands 6-3 and weighs 185 to 190 pounds, has a great arm, good feet and a will be a returning starter in 2022. He’s smart and battle-tested in District 1-5A, which was extremely competitive last fall and will be again this season.

I believe Walters can move up in the eyes of the colleges with a great senior year for the Tigers. I can project him at 6-3 and 215 pounds with another year of filling out in college.

Watching two of Benton’s 2021 games, I came away impressed with what Walters can become once he fully fills out with his frame. He’s a very good prep QB right now with excellent upside.

Here’s a great quote from his father, Roy Walters.

“As a father, watching your son have success is a dream come true, Gray has loved football from an early age so I hoped and prayed he would live his dream. Gray’s first high school game was his sophomore year against Benton’s rival and in his first start he led the team to a 32-26 overtime win. It will always be my favorite memory of him.

“Then he got to experience the other side in a 7-0 loss to another rival. Watching him go through that may have been my toughest memory. We have been so fortunate, though. Coach Reynolds Moore has always been there to pick him up, and dust him off, kick his butt and get him ready for the next week.

“As a parent, you could not ask for a better leader/coach mentor than Reynolds Moore; add to that his QB coach Jeff Harper, two of the best Christian leaders of young men I’ve had the pleasure to watch. I’m an old guy with a young son. Having those men teach him about football, but more importantly be examples to him about life, has been an incredible experience.”

Gray wears purple and gold now, but admits a preference for crimson.

“Growing up my favorite school was always Bama,” he said. “I dreamed of playing at Bama from around the age of 4, which has been tough on my Louisiana family. I really don’t know why but I have always loved them.”

I don’t see Nick Saban coming to recruit Walters, but I do see Walters playing quarterback in the style Saban demands of his QBs in Tuscaloosa. With the senior season I expect he’ll have, there’s college football in his future, I believe.

NOTES ON GRAY WALTERS: He has attended camps at Northwestern State and SMU and will go to McNeese, Lamar, ULM, Ouachita Baptist, Central Arkansas, Mississippi State and he will be playing in 7v7 events at Southern Arkansas and Arkansas State. His stats from the 2021 season: passed for 2,247 yards with 26 touchdowns and had just 5 interceptions. He ran for 235 yards with 5 TDs — and caught a 30-yard scoring pass. He helped Benton win its first home playoff game in Class 5A last season.

Contact Lee at @LeeBrecheen@aol.com