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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Meet the run-ons: Slotback Von Walker

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday, as part of an ongoing series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at a Penn State walk-on.

Vitals: Slotback Von Walker, Mill Hall (Pa.) Central Mountain, 6-foot, 195 pounds.

Picked Penn State over: Heavy interest from D-II schools such as Lock Haven and Bloomsburg. (He didn't get to the point of hearing about specific financial help, because he accepted PSU's offer right away.)

Why he picked PSU: Walker grew up a Penn State fan and never thought he'd have a chance to play there. When the opportunity presented itself, he jumped at it. He went to the camps, posed with Robbie Gould for a photo in elementary school and went to games. He just couldn't say no when he found out he could be on the team.

State of the position: Alex Kenney is primarily used as a slotback, but a combination of different tailbacks and wideouts could find themselves here on a given play. Early enrollee Richy Anderson also could be a prime candidate for some time here because it fits his skill-set well.

Strengths: He's a fast player with good agility. At a SPARQ combine, he turned in a 4.56-second 40 and a 3.97-second shuttle. He also shows good vision and is very versatile. He is primarily a tailback, but he is open to playing wideout or defense if needed.

Weaknesses: He can be indecisive while running. He knows he needs to be more explosive while hitting the hole, and he can't make so many cuts in the open field. He said he watches plays where he makes five cuts and gets tackled when he could've made one cut and been off to the races.

Potential impact: Walker should become an excellent special teams player, and he provides the versatility that PSU has been seeking. He'll provide some more depth at tailback and likely will be on the offense's scout team for the foreseeable future.

Quotables: "When you play hard for so many years, you don't want to settle for something -- I don't want to say mediocre -- but you want to take yourself to the highest level you can. So, even though I didn't get a scholarship, I knew I wanted to take myself there."

Getting to know Walker: Favorite movie is Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" ("Any of those Bruce Lee movies are good; I love them.") ... Favorite TV show is "Workaholics" ... Favorite food is Pangrazio's Pizza in Dover, Ohio ... Favorite music is 90s alternative ... Dream vacation spot is Colorado. ("It's beautiful, and I like the mountains and white-water rafting and everything.")