Walter Stewart had things planned out. His days of playing football seemingly complete, Stewart was ready to start on a graduate degree and work his way into the coaching ranks.
When doctors tell you you're not able to play the game you love and have been playing for years because they've discovered your spine wasn't built like normal spines its more than disappointing. That's what Stewart, the University of Cincinnati's 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end, was told in mid-October. He had been injured against Fordham on Oct. 13 and x-rays from that injury revealed he had a congenital abnormality. He was born without the posterior arch of his C1 vertebra.
A promising NFL prospect would not get a chance to prove himself at the next level, let alone anymore games for the Bearcats.
"I wanted to figure out what I wanted to go to grad school for," said Stewart. "I wanted to contact a lot of my old coaches and figure out where I would want to go and if they had room and get right into it....