Among the most anticipated debuts this week on the practice field at UCHealth Training Facility will be that of Denver Broncos rookie offensive lineman Dalton Risner.
The Wiggins, Colorado, native grew up in the shadow of John Elway, his current boss, and the Broncos, his current team, and no doubt will be among Broncos Country’s favorite players heading into the preseason.
Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s Kendall Valenzuela caught up with Risner a few weeks ago to talk about his offseason, working with his new teammates, and being drafted by a Denver hero:
Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan producer Kendall Valenzuela: You’re alongside Garett Bolles on the line right now. How is he doing teaching you? How are you learning from him?
Broncos rookie offensive lineman Dalton Risner: He’s been a great mentor. Garett came to my draft party and has been great for me ever since I got drafted. Honestly, he’s probably one of the biggest influences on my experience on the team so far. So, he’s been really good. It’s been so nice having a guy right there that welcomes me with open arms.
Valenzuela: And what about Connor McGovern?
Risner: The exact same thing. Connor reached out to me the night of the draft as well. I’ve trained with Connor, obviously, because he goes Six Zero (Strength Training), Dungeon Family, the whole deal. So, Connor’s been really good for me as well.
Valenzuela: As a Colorado native, who was kind of the guy when you came into the Broncos facility that you went “fanboy” over?
Risner: I’d probably say just having an opportunity to meet John Elway was pretty special. Growing up, John Elway was the man in my grandparents household, my parents household. They had pictures up, talked about him. So, to get drafted by him and for him to be my boss, that was pretty special.
Valenzuela: When the Broncos traded up in the draft, what were you thinking? What was your mindset? What was your reaction?
Risner: You know, when they went from pick No. 10 to No. 20, I looked at my parents and was like, ‘This could be us right here.’ It ended up not being me, which is completely fine. But, whenever we got to No. 41 and got drafted by the Broncos, that was a dream come true. One of the best moments of my life, and I’m still living that.
Valenzuela: Your dad said when you were 9 years old you wanted to be a pancake maker. Do you still have the custom chef hat and the apron that your parents got you?
Risner: I think that my mom has it tucked away in her stuff because she wanted to hold on to it. I don’t think that my goal is pancake making anymore, but what a heck of a goal it was. I’m glad that didn’t work out.
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