- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
The Oregon Ducks landed their first commit since September when junior college LB Joe Walker (Wilmington, Calif./Harbor College) received an offer on his official visit to Eugene. It didn't take long for him to jump at the opportunity, as he committed before leaving campus.
"Yes. I committed to Oregon," Walker said via text message. "It feels great."
Walker had previously visited Texas A&M and Duke, with Syracuse also making a big push for the 6-foot-3, 230-pound LB. Walker was a full-qualifier out of high school at Palos Verdes (Calif.) High School, but spent this past season at Harbor College, located just outside of Los Angeles. Walker plans to sign with the Ducks during the juco signing period and will join the program for winter workouts after enrolling in early January.
Walker fills a big hole for the Ducks and should immediately compete for playing time at middle linebacker in 2013. Being on campus in time for spring football will allow Walker to adjust to the speed and physicality of Pac-12 football. Juniors-to-be Rodney Hardrick and Anthony Wallace are likely to be the front-runners for the starting job heading into spring ball.
With Walker's pledge, the Ducks now have two commitments at their biggest position of need, joining ATH Tyrell Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln). The Ducks will take at least one more linebacker in the Class of 2013 to help offset the losses of Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay after the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.