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Lohud.com- Stepinac Alumni Ray Walsh retires from NY giant organization

Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by Lohud.com

Football scout Ray 'Whitey' Walsh, nearing retirement, reflects on his Giant steps

 

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Ray “Whitey” Walsh, left, shown as a child with his father Ray Sr., a former Giants employee, and his brother Chris, recently worked his 39th and final NFL draft for the Giants.
 
Ray “Whitey” Walsh, left, shown as a child with his father Ray Sr., a former Giants employee, and his brother Chris, recently worked his 39th and final NFL draft for the Giants. / Submitted photo by New York Giants
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Walsh traveled for most of those 39 years, visited colleges, working a schedule of 11 straight days of scouting, then three days off, then 11 days on, etc. He'd haul a 30-pound, 16mm camera with him on planes. He finally got off the road and behind a desk, in front of a computer, in 2006.

Walsh didn't play football at Stepinac because he was too small — though he thought he could have been the team's punter his senior year, only to have that hope scrapped by a bout with pneumonia. But he's sure had some quietly momentous drafts.

He was responsible, for example, for the Giants' drafting Dave Jennings, the otherwise unscouted punter from St. Lawrence, in 1974. Walsh first discovered him by reading the school's press releases.

He had a big hand in the drafting of Brandon Jacobs, and Ahmad Bradshaw, who declared for the draft after his junior season and wasn't heavily scouted. And he personally saw and recommended all of the Giants' current linemen — though they didn't draft Rich Seubert, instead signing him as an undrafted free agent.

And there were a few that got away, including a particular quarterback who was slated as Drew Henson's backup at Michigan, and became the starter when Henson chose to sign with the Yankees.

"You get to the school and (Henson's) gone and you wonder who the starter's going to be," Walsh said. "It was some guy on the senior list and his name was Brady. I can't imagine how I would be the only one (to scout him). At Michigan? We're talking about Michigan. How could you miss the starting quarterback at Michigan? ... It turns out nobody else wrote (a report on) the guy. It's amazing.

"I thought, we're in the sixth round or whatever it was, and I thought he'd be a steal. But everybody kind of looked out of the corner of their eye because there wasn't any other scout to confirm it."

New England took Tom Brady with the 199th pick of that 2000 draft, after every other team, including the Giants, passed on him for five-plus rounds.

Walsh, who lives with his wife Judith in Ramsey, N.J., hopes to still keep his hand in football with the Giants. He will still go to the games.

The rest is up in the air.

"I think maybe I'll sit around, read the paper, drink coffee, wait for lunch," he said. "They say every day is Saturday when you retire."

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