vIQ #26: All-American, Dalton Risner, talks K-State Football and his NFL Future

In featured, Podcast Season 2 by SteveLeave a Comment

On this episode of the vIQtory podcast we are joined by 2x All-American, Senior Tackle from Kansas State, Dalton Risner.

Dalton just finished a strong showing at the Senior Bowl which capped off an incredible collegiate career where he raked in the accolades. As a 3x team captain and 4 year starter his resume is second to none leading up to the NFL Draft. Dalton was kind enough to join us while he prepared for the Senior Bowl. He talked about his preparation, his journey and his foundation, RISnEr UP, which is just getting off the ground.

Follow Dalton and his story on Instagram @Dalton_Risner71 and on Twitter @DaltonBigD71. His foundation is on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/RisnerupFoundation/

Transcript:

Steve McGrath: welcome back everyone to the victory podcast I’m your host Steve McGrath alongside Chris Haddad as always and today we have a very special guest he is a three year captain at Kansas State where he also walked away with three all big 12 nominations was the offensive line of the year in the big 12 and he’s also a two-time all-american on the offensive line it is none other than Dalton Reisner Dalton thanks so much for coming on 

Dalton Risner: yeah I appreciate you man thank you very much 

SM: now I mean you’re a two-time all-american but I mean like there’s nine different publications so your first team here second team they’re like do you pay attention to all that stuff there’s just so many accolades they get thrown at you yeah man 

DR: you know it’s tough I’m not gonna lie I do pay attention to the all-american stuff just because that’s been that’s been a goal of mine ever since I was a kid and I don’t I’m not one of those guys that takes that lightly I take a lot of pride in that I think it’s pretty cool to be even on that list whether it’s first or second team so I do it’s not like I keep a list of where I was first or second team on which publication or whatever it was but at the same time you know it’s it’s something that I’m proud of so I definitely said oh hey yeah you know I got you know first team ESPN or second team from the you know Football Writers Association or whatever it is I mean I definitely am honored to be on those lists 

SM: but do you have a favorite one

DR: a favorite? well yeah PFF is my favorite one there. I think that you know I’m not sure how all the other you know all Americans are decided so I can’t speak on that all I can tell you is that PFF an up-and-coming you know a new publication you know I believe that they actually are breaking down the film they have grades on guys I think it’s funny my offensive line coach grades our games throughout the whole season and I’m one of the guys that keeps track of my grades and I average it out and say okay this is what I graded out on the season and PFF was point two point two points away from the exact same grade that my offensive line coach gave me and that’s when I gained a lot of respect for them plus they gave me first team the last two years

SM: I was going to say do not escape me. that’s great – that kind of, of course, I thought highly of them anyway but the fact that they’re that close to what your own offensive line coach says that’s you know pretty good that they’re on the same level of someone that has no idea what they’re doing

DR: yeah exactly

SM: so you know just walk me through though because all these different accolades and stuff what is it like you know yeah okay I mean all-american this but I’m gonna go take my final you know two days later because I’m still a student athlete what’s it like trying to balance all that 

DR: man it’s not as hard as you would think I can tell you that coming from Manhattan Kansas where k-state football is everything in that town it’s a huge part of the town in the community everyone loves Kansas State football and loves the football players so I mean I’m not gonna lie when you walk around campus you know everyone knows you as a football player especially if you’re a a guy that’s been a captain and been there for a while and a guy that you know gets you know this national you know recognition so you know you walk it out and people know you and I’m the type of guy man that I’ll take time out for anybody I’ll take time out to to high-five a guy that’s in a fraternity to thinks I’m cool or or you know or say hi to someone you know say hi to someone in class that thinks of a cool guy or whatever it is and you know I try not to let that get to my head I know that I don’t let it get to my head and you know at the end of the day fellas you know they’re just they’re just rewards and recognition you know I’m so grateful for and I’ve worked extremely hard to get that recognition but it doesn’t make me any different as a person you know I’m I’m still I’m still you know a normal guy going to college I just play a game of football and that game of football ends for everybody and I’m glad to say that whenever it ends for me I’ll be I’ll be thankful and saying that I stuck true to who I was and and didn’t let you know honors like that get to my head and make me think that you know I’m better than anyone else in any way 

Chris Haddad: yeah now has it has it sunk in yet that uh you know they’re kind of the k-state days are over and you’re transitioning to the NFL now has that really hit ya was just kind of day by day is something new for you 

DR: yeah you know our last game was November 24th and so it’s been about a month and at first I didn’t I didn’t think that you know it was thinking it at all but it has definitely sunk in these last two weeks just because you know I’m not even living in Manhattan Kansas anymore you know I’m not you know I had to change my bio from you know football Kansas State University to former football players it’s just a weird feeling man I grew into who I was in those five years and I’m so I’m so grateful for my five years at Kansas State and the coaches and the community and the football the blood sweat and tears in that town and it’s definitely tough and I can definitely tell you it’s sunken in but it’s hard to be down whenever you know I have so much to look forward to in my future so I’m I’m definitely upset that I’m leaving there but you know I’m 23 year old there’s guys in the NFL that are that are 21 so you know I got a leave college at some point – I had to leave

SM: you know it’s just speaking of you know your time at k-state of course you know it’s a huge part of who you are but I want to ask you just coming to set the stage before you even got there you know back in high school you were a big football recruit coming out of Colorado even though it was a small town but you were a center you were also really good at shotput and you played a little bit of basketball so you kind of had a multi-sport athlete thing going on so can you just talk to us about you know how exactly you were able to use that background of doing a couple different things you know to be a center but then you ultimately move out to tackle just can you talk about athleticism and different disciplines and you know maybe how that’s helped you

DR: yeah man, I love the story of where I come from in the sports I played in high school it was a town of 800 people 28 my graduating class and and I tell you I played all the sports because I had to – if I didnt then they probably wouldnt have been able to have it to have a team that’s how it was you know we have you know 15, 16 guys that if we don’t all go out for baseball, track and wrestling and basketball and football we’re not gonna have a team so you know that’s a big reason why I did that but just a quick note a side note you mentioned basketball I have to let you know before I get in onto your question I do hold the record in Wiggins, Colorado for most rebounds per game

CH: Nice. What was that number?

DR: 23 rebounds per game. Im not saying I went against guys my same height but that was the average – but you know playing those three sports man you know I was always Center I was Center ever since I was six or seven years old and played center my whole life senior year I played left tackle for three games kind of gotten used to it but a game of basketball and the footwork that entails in the conditioning and running up and down the court and playing defense and being an athletic position I feel I believe the basketball helped me a ton I played basketball ever since I was a kid and in terms of footwork and being able to be quick and agile it helped me a ton and then whenever you’re thrown shot put and discus a lot of people think that it’s all muscle but I can promise you you know I didn’t win state my senior year and the guy that won state was five inches shorter than me and probably 150 pounds less than me and he just had perfect technique shot put and discus requires a lot of patience and a lot of perfect technique just like the game of football it’s just like playing tackle and sinner does and guard the offensive line people might think that all you need is strength and all you need is to be a big bruiser but I can promise you that’s not what you are that’s not only what you need you got to have technique and gotta be able to be patient and perfect your craft so but no to play all those sports and get up to Kansas State and make the transition to right tackle you know it wasn’t as hard as what wasn’t as hard as I thought you know I sit around always watch tackles and be like man I don’t even know what a kick slide is I’m used to just shuffling back and I don’t even want to know what a kick slides like I can’t block those guys and now I’m a tackle looking at sinners saying I don’t want to block those big boys I’m cool with blocking these D Ends so you know it was it was a big transition to tackle but you know like you mentioned man you know playing basketball and doing track and playing baseball in high school and and all those deals I feel like helped me you know helped me mold into the tackle that I became in terms of being athletic and agile and all that

CH: yeah you know we had Jon Jansen on he mentioned the same thing it saw being a multi-sport athlete not only helps you function better but it teaches you how to win and lose because it puts yourself in a competitive environment I mean you mentioned all those what’s that you had to go play your team doesn’t doesn’t you know feel the team you know you may think like oh no the sport another sport as a kid at least but the kids don’t realize that they’re being put in these environments that hey you gonna win you know figure it out how to win and close games those players get it done and and other times they don’t but I want to transition here I have a note here that your father was your high school coach  what was that like playing for him 

DR: man everyone might think that playing for your father you know glorious experience and it’s you know hugging after the game and you know easy on you in practice you get everything I can tell you that it was the exact opposite you know my dad started my dad started the peewee program in my hometown whenever I was 5 for me and my brothers and coached me and my three older brothers and probably my younger brother too all the way through Pee Wee’s whenever we got to middle school he became the middle school coach and coached us in seventh and eighth grade and then whenever my older brothers got to high school he petitioned to be the high school head football coach and he got that and he coached my he’s going on 5, 5 boys and he’s coaching the last one in his senior year of high school this next year so he coached all of us like literally throughout high school which was awesome but there was a lot of grabbing facemasks a lot of crying and a lot of tough love yeah he expected a lot out of us he expected a lot out of me I’ve always been kind of a guy that likes to step into the leadership position and he demanded that from me and he let you know when you weren’t doing it right and he lets you know whenever you were being you know a baby and you were being soft and you weren’t being a football player and he you know he pushed me and made me uncomfortable every single time he was on the field and I’m so grateful for him for that and you know I don’t believe that I would be able to be the player I was today if it wasn’t for him driving me every single day he never let me get complacent you know I was always a big dude won at football guys weren’t that big I was you know I would dominate some guys in and he would never let me get complacent in terms of thinking that I had made it or that I was good enough he always was correcting me and you know I’m I love my memories with him he did a really good job where I can speak on being a coach and a dad he was coach on the football field say I had the worst practice in the world and me and him got at it you know I’m a young kid you know I’m immature I’m in high school I’d hold the grudge we’d get off the field and I’d be like you know you know screw you you know you just ripped me all day front of my friends and you know you’re way harder on me than them you know what’s up and then he would be a dad as soon as the he got off the football field he wouldn’t wanna you know if I wanted to talk football he would but then he’d be there for me ask me about school let me know if I needed anything you know what I mean he did a really good job of having that separation between the dad and the coach and I didn’t do a good job of that because I was young and immature and I would just hold the grudge but I’m really thankful for that

SM: that’s just adolescence oh man I mean

DR: yeah yeah 

SM: so you know after your time in high school of course you go to Kansas State you spend five years there but I really wanted to know what was that road like going from small town you know just how did they even into the picture you know what did that path look like for you 

DR: man it was a very unique path I was the I was the first one for my school to ever go play Division one football so that was the first athlete to be able to do that from my hometown I can promise you it wasn’t easy man starting in eighth grade you know me and my dad caught on real quick that no teams were ever gonna come through Wiggins Colorado to see the talent that we had you know they were going through valor Christian to check out Christian McCaffrey which I’m sure you guys are aware of and you know check out guys like that because they’ve had guys come out of those schools no one’s gonna come down to Wiggins and check us out so we said okay we gotta start going to camp so starting my eighth grade summer we’d go to probably 15 or 20 camps every single year you know my friends are at the lake my friends are hanging out having a great time wanting to know where I’m at and I’m on the road with my dad mom you know going to Colorado Colorado State Northern Colorado New Mexico Wyoming Nebraska Kansas State Iowa State you know a big Midwest tour of all these schools I’m trying to get exposed from coaches and learn you know frankly from a 1A school you’re not gonna know that you’re not gonna have a guy that played in the NFL coaching you you’re not gonna have a guy that you know played division one football coach and you shoot man you know it’s just it’s just a bunch of you know small-town guys playing the game of football you know it’s like hey block this guy block that guy it’s not it’s not hey take a subtle step I can promise you it’s not that so working through all through high school I go to 15 20 camps a year obviously I started getting bed better when it got to my junior year I remember this moment forever I was up it with a Wyoming camp with a guy named Pete Callagus he was offensive line coach and he looked at me and this was my sophomore summer going into junior year and he said you’re gonna you said you’re gonna play Division one football and I never that for the rest of my life it was the coolest feeling in the world because up then three years before that I had heard from various coaches like you know I always asked them you know like is this something I should pursue and they I think a lower level and whenever he told me that I was like man I can play you know I’m a 1A guy but I can play this game I know I can I’ve always been a confident guy my father’s always believed in me so ended up getting a lot of offers I got Colorado state, northern Colorado and Wyoming and I only had those three offers for a couple months so me and my dad were like okay we think we’re gonna go to Wyoming that’s just where we’re gonna be we wanted to get some bigger offers but that’s just how it ended up I was a big dude I was about to be done with my junior year there’s a lot of junior days going on which was a big thing I don’t know if that still is but it’s like almost like an official visit for juniors in high school and as soon as Kansas State offered Mizzou offered Arizona State and all the offers started rolling in it was really really cool man I I remember the day I got a message from a Mizzou football coach and he said we keep we want you to be in the black and gold and I remember telling my dad and he just started bawling I’ve never seen my dad cry but he just started bawling man he he wanted to play football growing up he always wanted to play Division one football and then he was just bawling sitting at his desk and some of them I could talk to talk for hours fellas but that experience was unreal because

CH: that’s a special moment

DR: yeah do it so many times that you know I shouldn’t pursue it but I kept working at it and then once all those offers came in it was an awesome experience but when I got to Kansas State a wake-up call to say the least man a wake-up call I had no technique I had always been bigger than guys and never had to use technique right now I’d latch on to a guy and drive him to the fence and like I mentioned earlier I don’t I didn’t know what a subtle step was I didn’t know what a reach block was you know and I can promise you that two weeks to quit Kansas State it’s not a program that’s easy Kansas State is a program that’s run off the hard work and discipline and coach Snyder demands that out of us and I called my dad I said dad I’m done like this isn’t for me you know dad these guys are big and strong and fast they know what they’re doing I don’t know what I’m doing I said dad no one knows me you know and then sure enough he drove up seven hours we talked for three hours he reminded me of why I was doing it it reminded me of of how hard we had works the last four years to get there and I still thank him and my mom because she came up to I still thanked him and my mom to this day I’m just like thank you guys so much for not letting me give up on this dream and it was a whirlwind from there and you know I continued to grow and work hard and I learned more and I got bigger and stronger and you know a year from the day I wanted to quit a year later I was getting ready to start my first division one football game as a redshirt freshman yeah it was a blessing 

CH: it’s crazy and what all happens right because you put an eighteen-year-old kid in a foreign city with a bunch of people who doesn’t know what the bunch of coaches screaming at them you know it’s it’s tough for anything okay but it molds you fast right and you grow up real fast – and you know from that moment I’m sure you were like all right you know you wanted to quit you get that that uh you know speech from your father your mother all right let’s uh you know you know you can do it you just need that influence to help you do it but I’m sure bill Snyder helped you do it as well right what was it like playing for him you know ultimately the end of your career you know he was there and he did what he did you know how was it playing under Bill

DR: it was honestly an amazing experience yeah pray for a Hall of Fame coach like that you know he made a promise to me in my official visit one of the main reasons I came to Kansas State was because he talked about the the better he was gonna make me a better husband a better father a better son a better friend you know to people around me and I thought that was so special because he he had played this game and coach this game for so long he realized that there was more life than football that we all loved this game of football but he knew that someday football it in for me but his job was to make me a better man and be prepared for when football was over I’m like I like that I like a guy that realizes that you know this game’s gonna be over but who Who am I gonna be when it’s over and he realized that and start my five years the discipline that he you know you know he forced and had us all follow and that the type of hard work he made us put in and how much he got out of us and he got the best out of each and every one of us and he demanded that I just I respected that so much because I feel like a lot of football players nowadays you know might might get a little bit more than they deserve and might you know be entitled to some things or at least believe that they’re entitled to some things that I don’t think that necessarily are and whenever that game of football is taken away from them you see a lot of guys struggle you can see a lot of guys struggling with their identity you see a lot of guys struggle with who am i right I don’t have this game of football I’ve always been this big football player that’s all-american and everyone loves me wants my autograph and once pictures but now I tore my knee and I don’t play football anymore and no one knows me and I don’t know who I am and I feel bad for those guys because they didn’t have a coach like Coach Snyder who said I know who you are outside of football I’m gonna help I’m gonna help you to find out and that’s why I’m so grateful for him is because if I were to you know knock on wood if I were to you know get injured never be able to play this game again never be able to play at the NFL level that would be a bummer but at the same time I’m so confident in Who I am in my mission what I want to do in life that that I’m confident with that I’m okay with that I’m okay with not being the guy that people want pictures with that people you know cuz that’s why you’re a great football player and they want to be with you but that’s why I’m yeah

SM: that’s awesome you know it’s funny is just that of course from your perspective you know if it were to end now it would be really difficult because you’ve had you know you’ve done so well playing college but you know I didn’t play after high school it was weird for me to not play because I had always associated myself with playing it and loving the sport and it was like well now it’s over so now Who am I and then on the other end of the spectrum guys after they retire in the NFL it’s like oh well what’s next.. Who am I so the fact that you you’ve already developed that train of thought is it’s only gonna pay dividends in the future but I I don’t think that you necessarily needed coach Snyder to put it in your head it seems from everything that I’ve read and seen about you that that’s kind of been the person that you are I mean well I want to get into this later but not it seems like a good time yet at such a young age you already have a foundation set up so do you want to just talk now a little bit about the RISnEr UP foundation 

DR: yeah man I’d love to you know first off I appreciate that and a big a big thing of mine is always but I love to talk I love to speak right so I I speak at pep rallies here in Manhattan Kansas and I would speak at you know on behalf of the team and everyone would always be like Dalton you know we we want to hear more from you is so funny we we spoke after the Texas Bowl my sophomore year so I’m like the sophomore in college and there’s a guy at the basketball game that’s always hyping up fans at halftime that’s his job and I you know the football team had this halftime deal so he introduces us and says you guys gonna hear from your 2017 or whatever football captain and I get up there and I had all the you know fans going crazy I was you know yelling things and and everyone was tweeting that out at me after saying like you know who needs the other guy we need Dalton Risner or something I kind of saw that I was able to have an impact on people with the things that I said and with my voice especially since I’m a football player and the kinda as I grew in my faith and as I grew in college I said you know can I was talking about there’s more to this game than just football I believe that you know I’m six foot five 300 pounds and there’s a lot of guys that wish they could be six foot five and you know I can promise you guys one thing and I mean this there’s guys out there that will work just as hard as me I’m not a guy that says no one will work as hard I got I promise y’all work hard but I can promise you there’s a five foot ten kid that would have worked just as hard as me if he would have had my height and he could have played Division one football – and why say that is because I look at that and say well I was given this height and weight for a reason you know I believe that God gave me this platform to not just play the game of football and be some arrogant person that puts his head above other everyone else’s but instead to utilize my platform with all these kids and people looking up to me because of the game I play to impact others and that’s when the whole Rise Up foundation came to play I said you know hey everyone loves to hear from me people love when I talk I feel like I have an impact it’s on then when I do so and you know I want to do something more outside this game I want to create a foundation I want to be able to give back to others I love watching people smile I love I love seeing myself have an impact on others so it started off it was crazy it wasn’t gonna be a foundation all I was gonna do was go live on Facebook once a week to update people back in Wiggins Colorado and my community Manhattan Kansas on what I was up to and what was going on so I did that and people were getting on with their kids from Wiggins people were you know kids were asking me questions and I’d be on there for two hours and I do it once a week and people are like Dalton because you could save that video people could watch it so I get all these comments and say don’t we want to hear motivation from you we heard you talk a little bit about it but we want you to make motivational videos so then I’m like okay so I’m gonna do this live I’m gonna do this live video once a week but now I’m gonna make a motivational video so then I started making motivational videos and talking about faith or talking about my journey in football or talking about hard work or family or whatever it was and people are like oh my god like we really love this so why are you doing all these videos what’s your plan and I was just like well I was just gonna do videos I didn’t know that this would I didn’t know that I had to have a plan I was like but I could see this going somewhere and and that’s what I said okay I want to create this into a foundation I want to make this something people it’s something that people can subscribe to and follow and say what’s going on with the RISnEr up foundation so that’s what I did I created a foundation and that foundation is based solely and primarily on one thing and that one thing the whole purpose of the foundation is to be a positive light in people’s lives around you and make an impact on those people whether that’s through faith I believe that you know not everyone has faith not everyone believes in God and that’s fine I just want to be able to impact people in a positive way whether that’s through faith football family whatever it is I want the rising up foundation to be something that encourages others in a day and age that necessarily to be honest with you guys I don’t think the popular thing nowadays is to be a good person the popular thing isnt to hold the door or to be kind of someone to take time out for others unfortunately I think that sometimes the popular thing is to take care of yourself and do what’s best for yourself and I’m obviously don’t think that that’s what’s right I think that we need to take time out for others and and I believe that’s why we’re down here so that’s how the whole foundation got started I have big plans for it it’s definitely like literally on the ground right now it hasn’t even began to you know get up and going we’re getting a website going I just got my logo trademarked and everything like that so there’s a lot of a lot of big plans for the RISnEr foundation 

SM: that’s awesome and it is right as it grows and you grow you know of course cuz you gonna be drafted you’ll be in a new city and then I’m sure that teams gonna help you grow with it as well I mean we are more than willing to do whatever we can to help you know promote it on the website whenever initiatives come up because it’s such a cool thing that you’re doing and you already have it together the whole thing I’m sure is going to take off very quickly and you know we can’t be happier for it because your message and just trying to do the right thing be a good person but sorely needed and if people are going to love it with and not just the people that you know back home you’re whatever you place that you call home is I guarantee you that it’s gonna work there because it doesn’t matter where you are that’s a message people can get behind yeah 

DR: well I really appreciate them and thank you 

SM: so I did want to just transition a little bit off of that though we know right now you’re on the west coast you’re getting ready working out can you just tell us between now in draft day what’s on the schedule between the combine the Senior Bowl in just you know how you’re trying to prepare for everything

DR: yeah so I just with my agent about two weeks ago assign my SRA I’m locked in with them great group of guys – 

SM: I can verify  for Andy Cabot as well

DR: Yeah, great group of guys. a lot of guys are still in bowl games or in the playoffs so they haven’t signed with their agent but that’s something I was able to do early so I signed with them I figured out where I was gonna go train which is out here in Anaheim California at a place called stars here in SoCal a great group of guys guys that you know are gonna get me better a NFL player has a son that’s playing NFL named Pat Harlow he’s gonna be training me out here he’s a head coach at Jay Sarah high school so a lot of good people in my corner and a lot of people that I’m working with down here in California get ready for the senior bowl I have the Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 26 I accepted my invite for that that’s gonna be a big deal for me I believe that I’m a guy that with these next few months you know whoever I’m at in the giraffe right now I couldn’t tell you guys but I believe that you know with things like the combine and the Senior Bowl that could really raise my draft stock because at the senior bowl I believe I’ll probably be playing sinner guard and tackle probably on both sides of the ball like right hand left side that’s gonna be huge for me that’s either gonna be really good or really bad but I promise you it’s gonna be really good you can you know you’re going against good competition they want to see how you do they want to see how you perform and that’s why I accepted the invite I think that could be really beneficial so as after the Senior Bowl is over as long as I get the combine invite we’ll be going to the combine and doing all those drills and the bench press and trying to get exposure that way in terms of the interviews and then after the combine I’ll head down to Kansas State and do my pro day and just based off my combine results I don’t know how much I’ll be doing a pro day but that’ll also be a big step for me and then as soon as pro day is over I’ll be living in Manhattan for the month of April and that’s when teams visit you or you visit teams and they’re doing physicals and they’re doing checkup so you’re going out to lunch or you’re shaking hands with the general manager you know I’m not sure so sure what that will entail in terms of if I’ll be flying out or if they’ll be flying in but that’s an experience I’m excited for then at the end of April that the draft comes and you know man whether it’s first round seventh round or undrafted you know if teams if one team gives me a chance to put on a helmet that’s all I need you know I sure hope it’s first round then but if it’s undrafted then that sounds good to me you know there’s a lot of kids that would have killed just to play college football so if I even get the chance to play NFL ball which I hope I do you know you know I’m excited for that opportunity it’ll be very fun

SM: well you know nothing else I hope that this podcast at least let you out you know flex those muscles for those vocal pipes there get your ready to talk a little bit in front of some people 

CH: yeah that’s awesome man it’s exciting too it’s like every every day you wake up something new you know or every I should say every day but every month it’s like you know gonna be in a new city you’re gonna be training for something new I mean that this is a like you know you’re just doing work playing football and now it’s all of a sudden you know it’s 

SM: you’re already kind of a professional athlete for a while and you know

CH: yeah

DR: It’s a blessing man. a lot of kids I don’t know if they do I can’t speak on behalf but for me I just don’t take it for granted like the fact that I get a play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl a bowl game I’ve watched for ten years probably you know that’s a dream come true man that’s that’s the best of the best in college football and then to go to the NFL Combine and you know put on that shirt and run that forty you know and that everyone watches the combine like that’s a dream come true so knowing that those things are coming up in my future you know are fueling me and definitely helping me realize you know how lucky and blessed I am 

SM: so you kind of hit on this a little bit do you pay attention to the mock drafts at all and see like oh man who does this person say on my first round or second round 

DR: um a little bit I used to pay attention a lot more to them especially last year but after I’ve seen guys like Cody Whitehair who is a guy that he’s a senior at Kansas State when I was a freshman left tackle got drafted in the second round with the Chicago Bears he’s the starting center there all-rookie team he’s been really really successful yeah Cody wasn’t on any mock draft like I’m telling you I’m telling you was not on the top three rounds or four rounds for any mock draft out there and I was so bacon to that my freshman sophomore year I was like man the mock trash you know where these guys going and no no you know harm to those mock drafts the people that put them out but there’s inaccurate sometimes I’ve seen guys that you know are you know predicted in the first round that will go in the fifth or sixth round or guys that were on any mock drafts like Cody and then he goes in the second round and it just proves that there’s so much more the process than just the public than the public eye and what the public’s use you and use you and like where you’re at in the season and things like that a lot of it depends on your interviews at the combine and the relationships you make and then you know the different types of 40s and your jumps and all that kind of stuff that goes into it so I used to look into it lot this year I couldn’t tell you like I I don’t know if I’ve like looked I think Mel Kiper has one or all that stuff I have it I haven’t looked could it tell you guys honestly look in your eye I couldn’t tell you if I’m on there as a first round or a seventh rounder I have no idea 

CH: so tailoring off that question that Steve asked do you pay attention to and it could be in the same bubble – do you pay attention to the negative criticism that comes out you know yeah you see all the time you know with all especially linemen it’s like oh he’s got you know slow feet or you know doesn’t have heavy hands or you know all that criticism that comes out because i  know you know you probably know what you need to work on your trainers need to know what you need to work on do you pay attention any that stuff that people on TV are talking about what you need to work on

DR: you know I pay attention to all of it good and bad positive feels good right people notice you and they notice your hard work and you’re like man it supposed to get that recognition I really appreciate that but I don’t let that positive enforcement change the way I work or let it get to my head in any way just like the negative I see it all people I think it’s funny because people think that you don’t see it right but we see it like we see it definitely and I don’t mind it I see it and it does it doesn’t infuriate me it doesn’t make me mad sometimes I laugh that whoever said it and I you know I might want to send a but just like the negative it doesn’t change the way I play it’s not gonna I’m not gonna let someone else fuel me with them talking bad about my game and you know you see both the good and the bad and you know everyone’s seizing so I definitely I’ll definitely say that I definitely see it but I’d like to think that I don’t let it affect me in terms of how I play or how I hold myself in any way

CH: it yeah that’s good cuz if someone says you don’t have heavy hands I mean you’re still gonna punch someone in the chest so yeah you did that big on big block of something oh so I agree with that 

DR: oh man this guy might have you know I’m not one to think that I’m this great football player that has no room to grow you know as an offensive lineman I have never had a game that I’m content with honestly very few plays I’m content with even if I bury a guy in the ground I’m like man I wish I would have had my right hand inside or I wish I would have you know had a better first step whatever it is so you know a lot of it sometimes I take with a grain of salt and I said hey you know that guy kind of has a point man he talked about my bad hands well shoot watch that play my hands were pretty bad you know that means so some some of it I actually take and you know say oh hey they might have a point there

CH: yeah so I wanna this is the last question I have here what advice would you give to a younger athlete that is that wants to be in your shoes right that wants to be the next Dalton risner and wants to be the next great offensive lineman out there what advice would you give to him 

DR: you know man I look I look into the eyes they believe in yourself and believe in yourself that’s one of the most important things in the world because there’s gonna be so many people that yeah you what you guys want to believe how many people have told me you know you’re not you’re not gonna make it you know I mean you’re not gonna make it play Division one ball and if you make it there you’re not even gonna start or you know when I showed up to Kansas State you know people tell me like yeah well you’re probably not gonna play you know I’ve heard it all but throughout it all I believed in myself and I remembered why I was doing it so that’d be my biggest thing to to a young guy saying have a reason as to why you’re playing and why you want to be great because if you don’t have a reason why you want to be great then why do you want to be great right if we want to be great you’ve got to have a reason and everyone has a different reason as to why they want to be so I’d say have a reason as to why they believe in yourself throughout the whole process you know it’s it’s too much to take in to try to you know go from being a high school athlete to say I want to be an all-american you got to take baby steps I said I set little goals and I continue to right now you know I want to be in it I want to yeah sure I want to be in the I want to put on a gold jacket someday and you know but that’s not my goal right now if it was I wouldn’t ever make it because I’m gonna forget about all the other stuff that’s been so you know right now my goal is to train extremely hard and get myself healthy for senior bowl and then once I’m the Senior Bowl it’s it’s to play well and to have a good week at senior ball and then it’s preparing for combine its all these little goals so on top of you know what I said earlier I would say you know having little goals for everything you do so if it’s a young guy that’s in high school you know don’t be looking to college if you have a year left in high school whether you have offers or not focus on being a great leader for your team they’re focused on being a good football player and how can you get better for your senior year and then once you graduate then start looking to college and so on 

CH: that’s great advice

SM: it’s awesome ya know Dalton before we wrap up we have this last little segment that we call the gauntlet I have a couple quick questions for you when I need your answer all right what is most important the number one offense or the number one defense

DR: Offense.

SM: all right now did you have a certain pregame ritual that you stuck to

DR: yep, I would run around I catch with my roommate of five years best friend we throw around the ball we’d run around the field touch every pylon in every corner and then DAP each other up and he would go go and do running more drills that run back in the locker room I did that for four years in a row every single game he transferred this last year and it was not I was so nervous for this first game because I’m like bro I didn’t have anyone to do the ritual with I can’t do it with anyone else you know I let my head but it was a big deal but I had that ritual for four years and did it every single game and then unfortunately this year didn’t have the opportunity to do it again

SM: well you know what that’s an opportunity to start a new ritual which I know hopefully we’ll get to hear about it next year after your rookie season

DR: ya 

SM: now to this point do you have a favorite football memory

DR: oh yeah my feel my memory is senior night of this season last game I’ll ever play at Kansas State University with a purple jersey on I scored a touchdown I was a against Texas Tech and you know was a play we worked on all year was I kicked twice you know roll back my quarterback would throw it back to me and I’d score and I caught it and as I was running into the end zone and stiff-armed a guy it was one of the coolest coolest memories in my entire life honestly probably last plays of the game too so like it just was everything was paid off you know the whole the whole fans were going crazy my whole sideline you know was running over to me just because you know I’m a guy that’s been there for five years they all know me and I hope love me and the it was just a crazy experience man for a big guy first you know to score a touchdown and then to do it on senior night the last time I’ll ever play on that field it was a very emotional night

SM: all right now of course whenever you do sign with the team is going to be a signing bonus do you have any thoughts for what that first purchase is going to be

DR: man I do, Ive thought about it a lot. Im going to pay off my mom and dads debt. Thats my first. Number 2 is  the three brothers right now pay off their college man I just think that’d be pretty I think that’d be pretty special 

SM: that’s awesome man that’s that’s so true to other you know the character that you’ve kind of shown throughout so that’s awesome yeah and this is the last one I promise what’s most important the players of the scheme 

DR: the players of this game oh the players a hundred percent every time a hundred percent hundred percent big believer in that big believer in that not a big believer in a coach can run whatever he wants he can be successful or not successful but it’s all about what what are you gonna do as a player you could get the worst play call but run it perfectly it will be successful

SM: that’s awesome man thank you so much for coming on with us we know that you’re going to have a huge impact on the field next year but we know you’re gonna have just as big an impact off the field we’re looking forward to following your story we’ll be watching on draft day for you to see where you go hopefully it’ll be one of the first to give you a congratulations but uh you know we’d love to have you on in the future talk more about the foundation and just how that the whole transition is gonna go for you but we wish you the absolute best 

DR: Thank You Man I appreciate that it was a pleasure to be on here talking to y’all 

SM: and just to wrap up again for everyone that’s the RISnEr UP foundation right now they’re on Facebook soon to have the website up and also you’re on all the social media platforms but we want everyone to check you out on Twitter @DaltonBigD71

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