Tuesday, May 21, 2013
2015 DE Walker racks up sacks, offers
By Kipp Adams
D'Andre Walker (Fairburn, Ga./Langston Hughes) racked up 105 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and a blocked punt last season as a junior. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound pass rusher played a huge role in helping his team to a 10-2 record and its first playoff berth in school history and hit the recruiting map late in January, when North Carolina became the first program to offer Walker.
Since that time, 34 other programs have offered Walker. While Walker says all schools are now even, three coaching staffs have been able to connect with him the best so far. The 2015 prospect almost committed to one of them a few months back.
“I know the FSU, Georgia, and Alabama coaching staffs the most, so those schools are sticking out right now,” Walker said.
Two out-of-state programs have made a solid early impression on the prized recruit.
“I sat down and sat down with Nick Saban and that was wonderful,” Walker said. “The new weight room at Alabama is unbelievable. Alabama has been doing pretty well and I think they have a chance to get back to the championship game again. I also think Georgia and FSU have a chance too.
“Odell Haggins is cool. He came by the school and I called him and we talked about making sacrifices. He told me life stories on how making those tough decisions now will help me have more later in life. He said listening to my coach and doing these things for my mother now will reap me benefits down the road.”
As for the in-state Bulldogs, Walker came very close to adding his name to the 2015 commitment list during his visit.
“I got pretty excited when they offered and I almost committed to them,” Walker said. “But knowing there are more schools out there I need to do my research so I can figure out which school is best. Mark Richt and Bryan McClendon recruited me to Georgia. When Mark Richt offered me, he took the time to sit down and talk to me. I love their facilities and I know a lot of players that go there so it would be nice to play with them. I like the defense they run and Jarvis Jones just went to the NFL. They are right down the road from me so of course they are going to have a serious chance with me.”
Walker now expects to narrow things down by this time next year and make his decision going into his senior season. Although he has more options right now than most rising seniors, Walker says he would like an offer from Michigan and LSU.
“I would like the chance to take a closer look at both programs,” Walker said.
Getting to see most of the schools nearby that have offered is one thing. But for schools such as Michigan and LSU, seeing those campuses might take a some planning and possibly some infusion of nerves as well.
“I am afraid of flying because I have never been on a plane, but I guess I will have to get over that fear for my official visits,” Walker said.