In Honor of Muhammad Ali the Greatest

This is obviously not a boxing blog, but I grew up not only watching college football on Saturdays. There was also Wide World of Sports. Prime time boxing matches were often shown on a Saturday afternoon. I grew up watching Muhammad Ali proclaim himself the greatest ever. With the invention of Youtube, I have probably seen every single one of Ali’s fights.

The loss of the Greatest was huge.

It’s a big loss, but what does this have to do with football?

The life blood of any college football program is recruiting. If you love college football, you should at least have a passing interest in recruiting.

 

This is where the story goes from boxing back to football.  Well, only after a little more about Ali.

Muhammad Ali had 9 children. One of his daughters, Rasheda, had a couple of sons with her husband, Robert Walsh. Not very surprisingly, one of them is currently in boxing trying to follow in his grandfather’s legacy. Nico Ali-Walsh wants to be like his grandfather and that’s a lot of pressure to live up to. His grandfather posted a record of 56-5-0 in boxing’s glamour division, the Heavyweights, during it’s golden era.

3 out of the 5 losses came at the end of his career when he was basically done. If Ali had just retired after an impressive victory over hard punching Earnie Shavers, he could have finished with a very impressive 55-2 record. His 2 losses came against Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, but he came back and beat both of them and Frazier twice.

He beat every top Heavyweight of his era including Sonny Liston, British Champion Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo, Ernie Terrell, Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Jimmy Ellis, Buster Mathis, Floyd Patterson, Joe Bugner, George Foreman, Ron Lyle and Jimmy Young. Almost any of those guys could have been champions in any time period. A lot of those guys actually were champions.

The other son of Rasheda and Robert Walsh is Biaggio Ali-Walsh who is a senior to be at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School.

The 5-10, 185 speedster is already the two time Gatorade Player of the Year in Nevada.

As a junior last season, he ran for 2,200 and for 30 Touchdowns. Ali-Walsh was one of the team’s best players and a huge reason why they won their 7th straight state championship.

Ali-Walsh can absolutely fly and he has great vision and moves. If he breaks into the secondary, you can pretty much consider him gone.

In spite of that, he is only rated a 3 star recruit and he is not being highly recruited. He does have a few offers, but not from any of the top programs.

To honor his grandfather, I would not be surprised to see Maggio Ali-Walsh have an incredible senior season. Maybe he will grab the attention of some of the top football programs.

 

An advantage for Ali-Walsh is the big name of Bishop Gorman High School. Sure, winning state in Nevada is not that big of a deal. Once outside of Las Vegas, who do you have? There’s Reno, and then there’s Area 51. There’s just not the same level of competition in Nevada that you will find in a California, Texas, or Florida.

However, Bishop Gorman plays a lot of national schools and they do more than hold their own.

 

Another advantage is the amount of talent that comes out of Bishop Gorman on a regular basis. Top NFL Running Back DeMarco Murray played high school football at Bishop Gorman and so did

recent 6th player taken in the NFL Draft, Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame. There are also numerous current college football players from the school and current top recruit, Quarterback Tate Martell. Snoop Dog’s son played there a couple of years ago before signing with UCLA.  Arizona is probably the biggest school that has offered Ali-Walsh a scholarship, but that could change as the year progresses.

My grandfather and I had a special relationship. It was well known in my family that I was his favorite, which doesn’t always fly well with siblings and cousins.

A bond between a grandfather and his grandson can be a memorable thing. In my case, it has lasted a lifetime and I am sure it will also for Biaggio Ali-Walsh. After all, his grandfather was clearly the greatest.

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