Florida Gators: Chris Walker

Julius Randle played out his recruiting until just about the 11th hour. And when the music finally stopped playing and Randle picked Kentucky on Wednesday, there were three schools left standing with broken hearts. Here’s a look at where those programs go from here.
While Florida still has one scholarship left in the Class of 2013 and remains in the hunt for No. 4 senior Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian), the Gators are now focusing the majority of their recruiting time and effort on the Class of 2014.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Signing two of the best players in the state has given Florida coach Billy Donovan one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

And it could get even better.

The Gators signed PG Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy) and PF Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County) on Wednesday. ESPN.com rates them as the top two players in the state of Florida, and they rank No. 9 and No. 10, respectively, in the ESPN 100. ESPN also ranks the 6-foot Hill the nation’s No. 2 point guard and the 6-10 Walker the nation’s No. 4 power forward.

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Thanks to a pair of top 10 ESPN 100 prospects, Florida's Billy Donovan has already put together one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

With local products and AAU teammates Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy) and Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County) already on board, the Gators have one of the best point guards and power forwards in the country heading to Gainesville next year.

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Schuyler Rimmer no longer headed to UF 

September, 17, 2012
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ESPN.com has confirmed that power forward Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fla./Boone) is no longer committed to Florida.

Rimmer was expected to walk on in Gainesville and then receive a scholarship as a sophomore. Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Stanford and South Carolina are schools after the three-star player.

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Parker and then the debate begins in 2013 

August, 8, 2012
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The prevailing storyline in the senior class rests among the first half-dozen elite members of the group. When ESPN convened its scouts to discuss the 100 elite seniors in the country, the most difficult task we faced was settling on an order for the first half-dozen prospects.

The list begins, as it has since last summer, with No. 1 Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon). He owns three state championships, two gold medals and the respect of his peers. However, his summer was incomplete; he returned from Lithuania with USA Basketball only to shut himself down due to injury. With the top slot heading into the fall intact, Parker need only check his rearview mirror to size up his competition.

The next two spots on the list belong to a point guard and a power forward from Texas. Andrew Harrison (Richmond, Texas/Travis) is a 6-foot-5 point guard, and one of the biggest, most athletic and talented guards you'll come across at the high school level. The only person to slow down his movements during the summer was Parker, who guarded him at NBPA Top 100 Camp and did so better than any other guard we saw.

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2013 PF Rimmer commits to Gators

August, 5, 2012
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Florida head coach Billy Donovan continues to put together a top class for the 2013 recruiting cycle. Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fla./Boone) strengthened the incoming haul by pledging to the Gators program on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeSchuyler Rimmer
Dave TelepThree-star power forward Schuyler Rimmer is the No. 8 player in the state of Florida.
"I am really excited about that," he said. "It has been my dream to go there and play basketball. I was given that opportunity and it wasn't something I could pass up."

Rimmer's commitment along with those of five-star prospects Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy) and Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County) has Donovan excited, too.

"He was excited that I chose them and he said he sees a bright future for me," Rimmer said. "He really thinks I can develop into a good college player. At this point, I am just looking forward to getting up there and getting started."

The strength of the Gators' class was something that drew Rimmer to Gainesville instead of shying away from it. He sees a situation where he can get better by going against top talent on his own team.

"Playing against top-10 prospects like Chris Walker and Kasey Hill is another thing," Rimmer said. "Everyday in practice, Chris Walker, or Patrick Young if he decides to play, whoever it is, there is going to be someone that is going to be really good. It is in the SEC and that will help my growth and develop into the best player I can be."

Gators make a statement with Walker 

July, 22, 2012
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Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County) has been a major focus in the recruiting efforts by many of the nation’s top college basketball programs. His commitment to Florida is big news for Billy Donovan and his staff. With AAU teammate and point guard Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy) already on board, Florida now has two top-10 talents who are capable of being impact players as freshman.

Walker is a skilled, 6-foot-10 combo-forward who is a scoring threat inside and out. His face-up ability is a perfect fit for Donovan’s system as the Gators have had a lot of success causing matchup problems for opponents utilizing post players with perimeter skills. He will need to put on some weight and get stronger to handle the physical demands of the college level, but there will be few 6-10 freshmen arriving on any campus next season who can match Walker’s combination of size, skill and athleticism.

Donovan has always been considered one of the top recruiting head coaches in the game. He has had success recruiting on the national level, showing that the Gators could compete for the best players regardless of where they lived. Gaining commitments from two in-state prospects of Walker and Hill’s stature was a major priority. It is a talent haul that will keep the Gators on par with Kentucky in terms of attracting elite players within the SEC.

Walker, as many prospects do, guaranteed a national championship when he made his announcement to commit with the Gators. With the dynamic duo of Hill and Walker in the fold, along with transfers Dorian Finney-Smith and Damontre Harris, Florida now has the talent level to make good on Walker’s promise. Fans of the Gators have good reason to be excited about the future of basketball in Gainesville.

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Chris Walker highlights LeBron James camp

July, 7, 2012
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ESPN 100 power forward Chris Walker, perhaps the Gators' No. 1 target, highlighted Day 1 of the LeBron James Skills Academy Insider with his incredible explosiveness, but he did show he needs improvement in other areas.

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