S Justin Walters
S Justin Walters, 6-1, 178; Bolingbrook (Ill.) High
Rivals ranking: Three stars, No. 36 safety.
247Sports ranking: Three stars, No. 56 safety, No. 679 overall.
Notable numbers: Helped the Raiders finish 8-4 in 2019. Bolingbrook did not play football this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enrolled early? Yes.
Birthday: March 4, 2003.
First scholarship offer: Western Michigan.
Moment I knew I wanted to be Irish: “When I went to the New Mexico game (in 2019) and I was standing in the locker room alone looking at the game uniforms. I was taking in the visit and all the information that I saw.”
What I’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic: “You’ve got to be self-motivated. I could be sitting on the couch doing nothing. It’s so easy to have no motivation in these times. I don’t have a season. I don’t have graduation. I don’t have any of that. I can’t even have signing day at my school. It would be so easy for me to say, ‘I don’t have anything, so I can relax and do nothing.’ But it has really taught me to be self-motivated. That is something I’ve improved on a lot, giving myself that motivation to do all these things and be great.”
One word to describe Brian Kelly: “Resilient. Every year, a lot of the public is against Notre Dame. People always think they are overrated. People always hate on Notre Dame. Brian Kelly hasn’t let that affect the team whatsoever. They just go into every game and show why they are ranked high and what they stand for.”
Best player I’ve played against: Michigan freshman wide receiver A.J. Henning (2020 class).
Most interesting fact about myself: “I have a condition called alopecia. Ryan Shazier, (former Pittsburgh) Steelers linebacker, has the same thing. I have no hair on my entire body.”
Most embarrassing song on my playlist: “Electric Love” — BØRNS.
Most controversial opinion: “We aren’t the only living species in the universe. You can see illustrations of how vast the universe is. We are just a tiny speck. There is no way there’s not another intelligent species. They are probably more advanced than us.”
Dream job (other than the NFL): “I want to own a lot of real estate and have multiple apartment complexes. I want to travel around the country and be an entrepreneur. I want to have my own business and then own real estate to support that business and my life. And I want the business to be something related to helping kids that struggle with worth. That is something I always struggled with because of my (alopecia) condition. I want to help other people and bring them joy, because I know how hard it is to not value yourself and not love yourself.”
NFL player comparison: Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Freshman year expectations: “I don’t want to set my expectations too high. I have big dreams and goals. Of course I would like to start. But realistically, I need to learn the playbook. My goal is to start on special teams and get some reps on the defense. Getting into that second or third rotation, that would even be nice for me for my freshman year.”
Favorite thing about football: “You can destroy people. You aren’t going to get sent to jail for taking somebody’s head off.”
What’s your best sport other than football? Baseball. “If I didn’t go to college for football, I’d probably be going to college for baseball.”
Sports idol: His older brother, Army junior running back Brandon Walters. “A lot of the celebrities, you see their success but you don’t really see what they go through to get to that success. My brother being at a military academy, he tells me the things he has to go through. That really makes me respect him that much more.”
Preferred social media: Snapchat.
Favorite musician/band: Rod Wave and Lil Uzi Vert.
Favorite TV show: “The Order.”
Favorite movie: “Point Break.”
Celebrity crush: Scarlett Johansson.
How many times have you watched Rudy? “I’m definitely going to watch it before I go, but as of now I haven’t watched it yet.”