Penn State Nittany Lions: Ricky Walker



There are still a ton of prospects on the board for Big Ten teams, so conference recruiting reporters Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival take a look at the best and worst case scenarios remaining for each team.

Illinois
Best-case scenario: Illinois picked up an offensive line commit on Monday with Peter Cvijanovic (Great Barrington, Mass./East Coast Prep), which gives the Illini two offensive line commits. Despite having four wide receiver commits on board, it looks like the staff would take another receiver in this class.
From official visits past and future to a commitment, the Big Ten was buzzing with headlines this week.

Here’s a look at a few programs that highlight a busy week in this week’s Big Ten storylines.

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Big Ten recruiting mailbag

September, 6, 2013
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@bwessfootball: How do you see Penn State’s class rounding out? Would you say PSU is now the favorite for Montae Nicholson and Qadree Ollison?

Brad Bournival: The first part of that question is tricky as the Nittany Lions are still in on Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa), Ricky Walker (Hampton, Va./Bethel), Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon), Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) and Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) but may not be the favorite for any of them. As far as Ollison goes, I fully expect him to be part of the 2014 Penn State class by Monday afternoon. The fact he’s visiting the Nittany Lions just before his announcement bodes well for Penn State. As far as Nicholson goes, the jury is still out on that one. He’s visiting Michigan State this weekend, but Pittsburgh is in his backyard and don’t count out Oregon or Florida State. The safety wants to set official visit dates soon so that could be telling.




[+] EnlargeDarius West
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comCould Michigan State land standout cornerback Darius West?
@Collin_Stauder: Any chance Michigan State grabs Nicholson or Darius West down the stretch?

Tom VanHaaren: That’s a pretty relevant question right now as Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) is visiting Michigan State this weekend and West (Lima, Ohio/Central) just recently took a visit to East Lansing.

I think you could probably even throw defensive back Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) in this question because he recently told me that he would like to get out to Michigan State for a game.

It was believed that Northwestern and Vanderbilt had the best shot with Westphal, but if he makes it out to East Lansing that might be an interesting situation. He was originally going to make a decision before his season, but it looks like he could take a few visits.

As for West, he is still committed to Kentucky and publicly is saying the visit to Michigan State wasn’t a big deal. I don’t think a prospect takes a visit this late in the game if it’s not a big deal. If Kentucky continues to struggle that could be something to watch.

Nicholson has had an interesting recruitment recently with Michigan telling him they aren’t recruiting him anymore. I believe he is open at this point, so this visit could help Michigan State. It’s too early to tell with him, though.




@DukeLukeofJuke: Do you see any dark horse recruits that few are connecting to Ohio State at the moment that could end up in Columbus by national signing day?

Bournival: The names are pretty standard at this point in recruits like Noah Brown (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII), Chad Mavety (Garden City, N.Y./Nassau Community College), Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), Erick Smith (Cleveland/Glenville) and Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville). If you’re asking me to go out on a limb, maybe someone like Gesicki or Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mount Lebanon) winds up with the Buckeyes. While it’s not much of a stretch, those two aren’t getting a lot of play lately in recent Ohio State news.




@ssullie71: Has Malik McDowell given a timeline when he will make his decision on colleges?

VanHaaren: He is saying going into this weekend that he plans on waiting to make a decision. This has been a hot topic, because I do believe there is a chance he makes a decision sooner than later.

McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) has been somewhat quiet about all this and doesn’t share much, so he could do anything. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him wait things out, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a decision soon.

He initially had been saying he was going to wait until the Army All-American game, but I don’t think that will happen anymore.




jbacevice@gmail.com: Damon Webb is the face of the 2014 class for Ohio State. Eric Glover-Williams has that honor in 2015. Put your prognosticator glasses on, who takes that role in 2016?

Bournival: Early signs point to someone with a familiar last name. While there aren’t a ton of offers out there just yet to 2016 stars, I don’t think it will much matter as defensive end Nick Bosa (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) has all the tools to carry the flag if he picks the Buckeyes down the line.

We all know is brother Joey is already making a name for himself as a freshman at Ohio State, but Nick could be even bigger. St. Thomas Aquinas coach Rocco Casullo has already said he thinks everyone will know all there is about the sophomore by the time he finishes with the Raiders. Buckeyes assistant Mike Vrabel is high on Nick already, but not just because of his play. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defensive end’s character and maturation at such a young age is what many are talking about.

Summer recruit wrap: Penn State 

July, 23, 2013
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- What have we learned about Penn State, recruiting-wise, from the summer?

NittanyNation outlined 10 different lessons. Here they are:


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NittanyNation: Week in review

July, 22, 2013
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NittanyNation takes a look at the past week's Penn State football news and what you might have missed:
  • ESPN Junior 300 DE/TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. has moved around more often than an Army brat -- but the next move is up to him. He's considering PSU and all schools, except really for two. "No Ohio State or Michigan State," he said. "... My dad would have a heart attack if I committed there."
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Four-star DT Ricky Walker (Bethel, Va./Hampton) recently named a top five of North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina and Virginia Tech -- but he also boasts two front-runners.

Out of those five schools, four of them send the most handwritten letters. And of those four, two really impressed by having multiple coaches share just how much they want him at their respective schools. And those two just happen to be his favorites.


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Friday mailbag: Lewis, Shell & 'ships 

July, 5, 2013
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Welcome to NittanyNation's mailbag! We asked you to tweet or email your questions, and we've selected three to answer this week.

Jack Brown writes: What kind of season can we expect from Eugene Lewis? Can he catch 50 balls this season, and do you think he can be as good as Allen Robinson?


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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Nittany Lions have nearly closed out their 2014 class and have basically addressed every need. But what were the biggest needs heading into this class anyway, and just how well has PSU done?

NittanyNation takes a closer look at PSU's five areas of need in the 2014 class and just what they've achieved already with this group.


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NittanyNation mailbag 

June, 21, 2013
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Welcome to NittanyNation's mailbag! We asked you to tweet or email your questions, and we've selected three to answer in-depth this week.

Brian Wess (@bwessfootball) writes: What do you make of the Qadree Ollison offer? Would they take three running backs this class? Would they move Nick Scott to safety? Also, why do you think they just offered him now?


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ESPN 300 targets: Penn State 

June, 18, 2013
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As part of a RecruitingNation-wide project, NittanyNation ranked Penn State's top-10 targets based on their likelihood of committing.

Here's the list:


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NN Mailbag: Priorities & projections 

June, 7, 2013
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Welcome to NittanyNation's mailbag! We asked you to tweet or email your questions, and we've selected three to answer in-depth this week.

Clay Sauertieg (@CSauertiegPSU) writes: With Michael O'Connor and Troy Vincent likely making 12 commits, are Montae Nicholson, Alex Bookser and Dravon Henry the priorities?


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Camps as critical to prospects as PSU 

June, 4, 2013
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Ricky Walker could feel his stomach spinning as the air horn sounded, signifying the start of another drill at Penn State's summer camp. He sipped some water beforehand, but that didn't help the butterflies any.


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Tales From The Road: Penn State 

May, 15, 2013
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Every Wednesday, as part of a RecruitingNation-wide series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at what's going on in the world of Penn State recruiting.

This week's targets: Defensive tackle Ricky Walker (Hampton, Va./Bethel) has remained a priority for Penn State, and assistant coach Charles London -- who handles the Virginia area -- stopped by his school on Tuesday. London's visit came just a week after defensive line coach Larry Johnson visited, and Walker called that kind of contact very important. He's still developing a top five but said PSU was a lock to make the cut.

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DT Ricky Walker (Hampton, Va./Bethel) holds more than a dozen offers and will name his top five shortly after the end of the evaluation period.

He's high on PSU's big board, and the DT recently spoke with NittanyNation about his interest in PSU, his thoughts on the Nittany Lions' DL coach and more.


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2014 PSU spotlight: DT Ricky Walker 

April, 24, 2013
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video Over the next few months, NittanyNation will look closer at the 2014 recruits who claim offers from Penn State. Today we examine defensive tackle Ricky Walker, whom PSU offered last fall.

Vitals: DT Ricky Walker, Hampton (Va.) Bethel, 6-foot-2, 270 pounds

Offers: He's up to 14 right now, from as far north as Boston College and as far south as Georgia Tech. Some of his biggest offers include Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


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