Making waves on the youth football scene in New Mexico is 2023 RB/S Cayden Walton. Walton is a dynamic athlete building a reputation for his ability to make highlight reel worthy plays all over the field. It doesn't matter which side of the ball he's on, Walton is ready to make a game-changing play.
"My favorite part of football is the feeling of making a big play to help contribute to my team. I enjoy playing against tougher teams because they push me to do my best," Walton said.
Standing at 5'6 140 lbs., Walton is a skilled offensive player that excels in open space. Provided with the ball and some decent blocking, Walton will find a way to turn it into a big gain. Once he hits the open field, he makes defenders miss on his way to the endzone. He uses an array of shifty cuts and jukes to make defenders look silly for attempting to bring him down.
"I play running back and I enjoy the feeling of helping out my team in multiple ways - running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield, and blocking for my teammates," Walton said.
Walton is by no means limited to one side of the ball, as he's a ballhawking Safety on defense.
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Throw the ball in his vicinity and Walton will break on the ball for an interception or deflection. He has good instincts and an ability to quickly diagnose plays. He's not afraid to lay a big hit on the ball carrier if need be.
"I play strong safety and I like the position because I can help support the run like a linebacker and defend the pass like a defensive back," Walton said.
While Walton makes a strong impact on both sides of the ball, he remains focused on progressing into a complete player.
"I feel like I’m becoming more of a complete football player," Walton said.
"Besides running the ball, I’m now catching passes out of the backfield, returning kick and punts, and have become a much better blocker," he added.
Walton recently completed his first year of middle school football for Raton Middle School’s 7th-8th grade team.
"This season, in 7 games, I had over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 28 touchdowns. I also contributed with 77 total tackles and 2 interceptions," Walton said.
Walton has played in his share of all-star games, as his peers, coaches and scouts have recognized his standout talent. In the past year he's played in three different All-American games, two in Dallas and one in California.
"I’ve played in several All-American games and felt I played well in all of them. In my first All-American game I was in on 14 tackles, had an interception, and I blocked a punt," Walton said.
With his eye on improving his game, Walton is working hard to find ways to get better. He loves the game of football and is dedicated to improving his craft.
"I'm working on finishing off my runs better and getting stronger in the weight room. I want to be a better finisher to wear down the defense," Walton said.
"I’m working on hitting holes faster and finishing off my runs. I work hard in the weight room to get bigger and stronger so that I can continue to improve," he added.
The Raton, NM native models his game after one of NFL's toughest all-time athletes in Baltimore Ravens legend, Ray Lewis.
"I really like Ray Lewis because he was a physical player and was extremely smart on the football field," Walton said.
2023 RB/S Cayden Walton is a talented playmaker with the ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball. With his ability to run the ball for big chunks of yardage and the way he can be a ballhawk in the secondary, the sky is the limit from here.
"I believe my strengths are my speed, vision, and will to be the best I can be. I try to always be aware of the situation and not make mental mistakes," Walton said.
Check out Walton’s highlights below.