Dalton Risner will go down as one of the all-time greats at Kansas State. Now he’s ready for the next chapter.
“It’s always been something that’s been in my head. I remember going to bed at a young age listening to music picturing the NFL Draft,” said Risner.
Now that dream is turning into reality with the NFL Draft later this month.
“I come from this small town, I come from this rural area that people don’t get the chance to go do this,” said Risner.
Wiggins, Colorado to be exact, a town of less than a thousand people.
“That’s what’s made me, the work I’ve done on the farm and the type of passion, work ethic, and effort that I’m gonna give on the football field.”
Now Risner is on the doorstep of the NFL Draft after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
“Having G.M.’s and head coaches watch every move that you make. You take a step on the field and you see them write down something and you’re, like, did I take that step correctly?”
The steps Risner has taken led to him being named an All-American and the Big 12 offensive lineman of the year, but the next step in the NFL is uncertain.
“Some teams say you’re a left and right tackle, some teams say I’m a center, some say I’m a guard,” says Risner.
Risner played right tackle the past three seasons at K-State, but feels his versatility lends well to the NFL.
“I can fill a need wherever they have that need at, so I’m kind of confident in that in knowing that, hey, I can be guard, I can be center, I can be tackle as well.”
Whoever drafts Risner is getting a player that didn’t allow a sack in his final two seasons at K-State.
“Not getting your quarterback hit, that’s why you’re an offensive lineman, that’s your goal, so not to give up a sack in two and a half years of playing football is a pretty big deal. There’s a lot of opportuntities for guys to get to your quarterback.”
Most mock drafts project Risner as a first or second round pick, but wherever he goes, Risner is ready to get to work.
“So many people helped get me to where I’m at today and just to be able to get that phone call, man, and hear that phone ring and get a call from an NFL coach and to be a part of an NFL team, that’s gonna be an emotional moment. It’s gonna be pretty special, man, I just can’t wait to have that happen and be able to start a new chapter of my life with people that I love,” said Risner who says he’ll likely spend the draft with family and close friends at home in Colorado.