Holy shit, this is a gut punch. Walter Reyes has passed away, according to an Ohio television station’s online report. WFMJ, a Youngstown-area station, tweeted earlier today that Reyes died on Sunday at age 36.
— 21 WFMJ (@21WFMJ) November 27, 2017
For whatever reason, Reyes has become a bit of a forgotten man in Syracuse football history despite being one of the most prolific running backs the school has ever produced. He finished his career ranked second on the program’s all-time rushing yards list with 3,424, and his 45 rushing touchdowns are the most in school history.
As a junior in 2003, Reyes rushed for 1,347 yards and 20 touchdowns, arguably the single best rushing year for any player in Syracuse history. The previous year, he rushed for 1,135 yards and 17 touchdowns, while an injury-hampered senior season saw him rush for 803 yards and seven scores in nine games.
This one really hits home for me, as Walter was always one of my favorites. He was a contemporary of mine at Syracuse, and his class was one of the first that I’d really gotten invested in via following the recruiting process online as scouting services like Rivals and Scout started to come into existence during that era.
The cause of Walter’s death is not yet public, but a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral costs. Walter leaves behind a wife, Yolanda, and four step-children.
Rest easy, Walter. You were one hell of a football player.