MISSOULA — In 2019, Corbin Walker was thrown into the fire as a true freshman and hasn't looked back.
The cornerback from Renton, Washington, saw action in Montana's first game that season against South Dakota with a few hiccups along the way.
"I remember getting a (pass interference) call on me," Walker said with a laugh. "I remember a guy running past me, so it was pretty much like a welcome to college type deal."
But for the young athlete making his way to college in a new state, the trust from his coaches out of the gate was paramount to start his career.
"It means a lot, it's nice having coaches that trust in you, that trust in your abilities to get the job done," Walker said. "I appreciate everything that I've gotten here and I've gotten a lot of better underneath these guys here and they care about me a lot. I love it here.
"We've had a lot of great guys coming in here when you go down or you get injured or something happens, and the next guy up you've just got to learn and you've got to take mental reps and you've got to when you get the opportunity, you've got to take advantage of it."
From there, Walker has turned into a mainstay at corner over the years where he's made big plays in the playoffs, but also been an important part of UM's defense year in and out.
For him, confidence is key and the biggest asset, especially at corner, one of the toughest positions to play in football.
"It's always the next play, give up a play, it's always the next play," he said. "You can't really get into what happened the play before, you've always got to get lined up, know your assignment and all of that, but you've just got to fly around and know that you know your stuff, and know that you've been coached pretty well and that you've just got to do your job.
"It was pretty scary (at first) but as you get in the games, as you get playing time, you gain more confidence and it starts getting easier. Start learning the defense a little bit better, you start picking up concepts that they run on offense, and it just gets easier as you get more playing time and it's really just about confidence."
As he's built that confidence and self belief, the results and playing time have followed.
This season, offenses have been hesitant to challenge Walker at times as he's locked down opposing receivers. In turn, Montana has improved to 8-1 with Walker playing a major role on defense.
"It's been awesome, it's been a really great year, college has been everything I ever imagined," Walker said. "So it's been really awesome, we've had a great team year in and year out so it's been awesome."
Walker has amassed 103 total tackles in his career, including 69 solo, and 3.5 for loss with one sack. He has five career interceptions including one this year that sealed UM's win over Idaho State in Week 5, and two of those picks he took back for scores, the first against Southeastern Louisiana in the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2019 as a true freshman, as well as another one in the second round of the playoffs in 2022 against North Dakota State. He also has 19 career pass deflections.
Walker, who graduated with a degree in management information studies, is working toward his MBA which he plans to achieve this year once football completes, as he's made the most of his time with the Griz, a career he'll cherish after many years of making an impact.
"Definitely the brotherhood that we have in the locker room," Walker said. "We've got great guys in there, you're going to have lifetime friends coming out of here, you're going to have guys that care about you here and it's just been awesome having those people having this community around you."