Friday, March 15, 2013
5 Questions: 2014 DT Ricky Walker
By Josh Moyer
Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Ricky Walker, a defensive tackle out of Hampton (Va.) Bethel who currently holds 14 offers. He also received an offer from Penn State, and he's heading to campus in a week.
NittanyNation: You missed Penn State's junior day, but you'll be on campus March 23. Why'd you decide to come up a little later?
Ricky Walker: You know, Coach [Charles] London and Coach [Larry] Johnson came down to my school, and they wanted me to come down to see junior day or spring ball. They said whatever worked best for me, and I told them spring ball -- so that's when I'm going to go.
Me and my dad are coming up. Coach Johnson wants to sit down with me and let me see how he coaches, so I'm looking forward to it.
NN: I know you don't have a top five yet. But where is your interest in Penn State, and what are you looking for in a school?
RW: Compared to other schools, I would say it's high. It's definitely high. If I did have a top five right now, I'm pretty sure they would be in it. But I don't want to rush it. I'm going to have a top five before the season, so around late August or early September. If it blows up, I might have a top 10.
But, right now, it's academics because my family stresses that the most. And it's where I feel comfortable; I don't want to go somewhere where they're just hype and don't care about me. I want someone who's going to take care of me for not just four, five years -- but even after that. I want to go to a winning program ... and I want to come in and play early.
NN: How did your relationship with London and Johnson start? When did you first hear from PSU?
RW: First time I heard from Penn State was last spring, when Coach London came to the school when he was new to the staff. I was very surprised, and I was excited because my family's from Pitt and they grew up Pitt and Penn State fans. My grandparents always liked Penn State football and Pitt basketball.
So I visited Penn State in the summer when I came up there, and they were excited I was able to make it up. As soon as the camp started, that's when I built my relationship with Coach Johnson. He loved me from the get-go. With my hands and my hips, he just fell in love with me. During lunch, he watched my film -- and that's when he said he's going to be recruiting me hard. He said I remind him of Jordan Hill, and he said he's not going to offer any other D-tackles. He said to be ready to come in and play.
NN: What do you like the most -- and the least -- about Penn State?
RW: The history. The history's great, great atmosphere, the stadium, they're a winning program, and they win every Saturday. The staff is great, too, because they know what they're doing and the future's looking good. The only bad thing is the sanctions, because you can't go to a bowl game. Hopefully, in the next year or so, they decrease that.
NN: What are your strengths, and what do you feel like you need to work on the most?
RW: I feel like, first of all, I'm very humble. I feel like I lead by example. I'm not really a vocal guy, and I play with a chip on my shoulder. The fourth quarter is when I turn the engine on; that's when I get rolling for real.
The game is what I love; I've been playing since I was 7. I just like competing and getting better, and I feel like I've got to work on getting a better football IQ. My dad says I have the best football IQ out of my brothers, but I want to know better tactics and details and everything.