"Without my dad, none of this would have been possible. I really believe that," Walters said last week at Delaware Stadium.
The fifth-year senior from West Philadelphia is on pace to get a degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management in the spring. He'll become the first college graduate in his family.
"And between my brother, my mom and my dad, my immediate family has always been there," he said. "So when I'm playing, I definitely think I represent my whole family."
Since redshirting in 2006, Walters has started in 37 games. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has stood out at cornerback and strong safety through his first three seasons.
As a result, Walters, who turns 22 on Sept. 19, is Delaware's active career leader in tackles (183), solo tackles (129), interceptions (nine) and pass breakups (23).
He ranks fourth all-time in forced fumbles (four) at Delaware.
"He's a very intelligent football player," Blue Hens strong safety Anthony Bratton said. "He's been able to learn all of the positions easily."
Looking to utilize his ball-hawking skills, Delaware moved the 2009 first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association cornerback to free safety this summer.
"I like it. Free safety is more fun," Walters said. "You are always busy. You are always around the ball. At corner, if they are not throwing your way, you are kind of just hanging out."
Walters added that just being a four-year starter is gratifying enough.
"Where I grew up [59th Street and Cobbs Creek], not a lot of people made it out of there from the people I know," Walters said.
"You had drug dealers driving around in new cars," Will Walters said. "So guys didn't feel as though going to school was going to get them [money and fame] instead of being patient."
As a way to keep her sons out of trouble, Lisa Bloxom did not permit them to hang out in the neighborhood.
"If they wanted to spend time with their friends, I would have their friends come over my house," she said. Among the few times when her sons went outside unsupervised: when they attended school or went to play basketball across the street.
Anthony Walters' competitiveness as a quarterback for the Greater 69th Street Wildcats caught the eye of coaches at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County.
Even though Walters commuted an hour each way on a train and two buses to school, he knew that playing for the Catholic League football power would land him college scholarship offers.
He ultimately surprised people by picking Delaware over Wisconsin.
"I don't regret coming here at all," Walters said. "I learned so much from being here. I think the opportunity for the next level [in the NFL] is wide open. So I can't regret being here."
There is, however, one morning he'd like to forget.
Walters served a one-game suspension during his redshirt sophomore season after being charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and underage consumption of alcohol after a party at an off-campus residence Oct. 12, 2008.
"The charges were dropped," he said. "I ended up missing a game because my name was in the paper. [The Newark police officers] thought I was somebody else."
Even so, Walters said, the incident was a learning experience.
"One thing that is for sure is that I learned that I represent a lot more than just myself in everything I do," he said.
Now Walters gears up for his final campaign at Delaware.
As always, his family is just as excited about this season as he is. For the last three seasons, Will Walters and the Bloxoms planned their vacations around Delaware's schedule.
"It's funny, because during my adulthood, I've never cried," Will Walters said. "But when I see him out there, even when he's doing bad, I get mushy-eyed. I get mushy, because I see where he came from."
Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.