Ausar Walcott went undrafted out of Virginia in 2013 but, months later, that was the least of his worries. The former Cavaliers defender signed on with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent but his football career was cut short by an attempted murder charge.
In 2013, Walcott was in a New Jersey nightclub when a melee broke out. He admits he threw a punch that knocked a man down — and the man ended up in a medically induced coma. Walcott claimed self defense, and a jury found him not guilty after a lengthy trial.
Now, he is reportedly attempting an NFL comeback. That is noteworthy in a number of ways but also intriguing in the fact that he believes his professional football career was one of the reasons that the incident that left him in this position happened.
Walcott had this to say to Dan Duggan of NJ.com:
“I was basically just targeted for the position that I was in. I don’t know why. I don’t know why you would try to pick a fight with somebody that’s in shape, but there was a lot of them, so I understand. I was just trying to protect myself, honestly.”
It remains to be seen as to whether Walcott is in the football shape necessary to facilitate a return to the playing field at the highest level, but he appears confident in his abilities.
“Honestly, I think it’s made me a better, stronger, wiser person. I believe everything happens for a reason. Life is long. That was just three years of my life. I have a whole life to live. It’s honestly all on me on how I move forward. I can take it as a positive and make something good out of it, or I can take it as a negative and feel sorry for myself. I’m going to keep it as a positive and try to build something with it. I made it that far and it got taken away from me. I’m on the journey trying to make it back.”
This is a situation in which Walcott’s story could end in a storybook way but also one in which a possibility exists that he never plays professional football. That is heartbreaking on some level but there will be an opportunity for redemption and that is a good thing.