Walden, Miami’s jack of all trades

Terrell Walden has a very busy schedule. He is a student, football player, track star and father.

Walden is from the projects of Liberty City in Miami. He has already made a name for himself in the record books. In February 2004, Walden ran the 60 meters and set the Big East Indoor Championship and Carrier Dome record, breaking Santana Moss’ mark by one-tenth of a second with a time of 6.76.

Change is nothing new for Walden. Recently, he switched from cornerback to wide receiver on the football team. He has to put in more time on the practice field and memorize routes but the challenge keeps him motivated.

Walden wants to set a positive example for the youth in his projects.

“As a kid, I had a lot of fun, I used to play sports year around at GC Park,” Walden said. “I need track for football and visa versa so that’s why I stuck with the two. I love both sports equally.”

However, Walden still dreams of playing on Sundays.

“I want to play in the NFL,” he said. “I love to compete; I plan on improving and taking my game to the next level.”

Walden is a junior, so his chance to be selected in the 2006 NFL draft is about a year away. His optimism and dedication should serve him well in his upcoming senior season and the scouts will be watching. Walden was red shirted for the 2003 football season. During the 2004 season, Walden was sidelined by a torn ACL on his right knee that he sustained during practice. He must stay healthy in order to display his talent.

On the track, Walden has excelled in both the 100-meter and 60-meter races. Walden, when recalling breaking Santana Moss’ record in Syracuse, N.Y., cracked a smile and admitted how good it made him feel. However, on Feb. 19 Aulton Kohn of Syracuse University set the new Big East Championship and Carrier Dome record with a time of 6.73.

During the Hurricane Invitational from March 17 to 19, Walden placed 12th out of 29 runners in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.95. On Feb. 18, at the ACC Indoor Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., Walden placed 19th out of 37 with a time of 7.02 in the 60-meter dash.

Walden cherishes time spent with his two-year-old son, Terrell Jr. He goes home when he gets the chance and he has garnered much respect from his neighborhood peers because of his success.

“Everyone looks up to me in the projects,” he said. “I want to show the kids that you can do positive things.”

Being a student-athlete means having to juggle responsibilities of athletics and academics; Walden uses that mindset off the field.

“I start assignments ASAP,” he said. “Good time management is critical to success.”

Paul Campbell can be contacted at p.campbell62@umiami.edu.