Rohrbach to follow in father's footsteps

He was a Husky, an insider linebacker for Don James in fact. Now, Mike Rohrbach continues his football tradition at the University of Washington in the capacity of team Chaplain, and as a result his son Chris' upbringing was a purple and gold one ever since he could catch a ball. It comes as no surprise that Chris has decided to attend Washington as an invited walk-on, following the proud legacy his father set.

"I never played organized football until I was in the 9th grade but I made varsity as a freshman and did really well," Chris told "Then, my next year we got new coaches. That's when Mark Stewart (former Husky linebacker) came in. In his offense we really didn't throw the ball that much but I was still playing well and getting some attention from schools. Then my junior year I was hurt (collarbone) in game two and was out the whole year."

His collarbone injury was a major setback for the 6-1, 175-pound receiver. "Before then, I was getting letters from Pac-10 and Ivy League schools," he said. "So after that year I worked out with Steve Emtman to get stronger and then I had a great senior year but by then I wasn't really hearing anything from anybody."

Most receivers that catch 49 passes for 960 yards and 9 touchdowns as seniors get noticed. Chris earned first team all-WesCo 4A and second team all-area (Everett Herald) honors for his work on the field. His last reported vertical jump is 33.5 inches and his last 40 time is a 4.6. What makes Rohrbach's achievements even more remarkable is that he did most of it with a broken wrist. "I just found out that I had a broken wrist since game three of the football season," he said. "I played all year with it in basketball too."

"I just got the cast off yesterday."

Because of his wrist, Rohrbach had to decline an offer to play in the East-West All-Star game.

"Western Washington was ready to give me a little money to go to school and I was invited to walk on at Washington, Central (Washington) and Eastern (Washington)," Chris said. "In fact, Eastern was recruiting me really hard when I was a junior, but then there was a coaching switch. After that switch, they stopped recruiting me.

After Western didn't really come through with much of an offer, I felt I should give it a shot to walk on at U-Dub. I grew up being a part of the Husky program. I got a chance to go in the locker room after games."

And you know Rohrbach has all sorts of childhood memories, the kind most die-hard Husky fans would love to have. "I'd say my most vivid memories were during the Rose Bowl years in the early 90's," he said. "Back then the team took all the families along to the games, so I got a chance to go to places like Disneyland with the players. I was really young then, but it was so cool to get the celebrity treatment.

"I really liked Mario Bailey, plus all the players that were close to my Dad, like the Hoffmans (Dave and Steve) and Mark Brunell."

The process to walk-on has been one that was drawn out for Chris, when the seeds were planted last summer. "Well, I went to the Rick Neuheisel camp last summer and they kept in contact with me but then after a while they started focusing in on who they really wanted, so I started contacting them," Rohrbach said. "I talked with Coach (Keith) Gilbertson, Coach (Chuck) Heater and Coach (Randy) Hart all about it. I met with Coach Hart so that he could show me what I needed to do to walk on.

"And then I was accepted into school last week. I'm just excited for the opportunity to play."

And another Washington legacy was created.

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