Thursday, March 21, 2013
ILB Damian Walker Jr. focused on spring
By Damon Sayles
Early last month, Damian Walker Jr. (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Timberview) was a phone call away from enjoying life as a Big Ten commit. For whatever reason, Walker never finished the task at hand.
The rising inside linebacker was offered by Purdue and attempted to call the Purdue coaching staff to officially commit, but said he has yet to hear from any of the Boilermakers coaches.
A month later, Walker said he’s focusing on bettering himself. The lack of communication, Walker said, could be a blessing in disguise as he prepares for a busy spring and summer. A 5-foot-10, 225-pound linebacker, Walker has been invited to Tulsa, Okla., for a camp, and he’s looking to take in Missouri’s spring game, as well as some camps and combines in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“I called [Purdue] a few times, but I never heard back from them,” Walker said. “I wanted to commit, but maybe that’s a sign to show that’s not the school for me. I intended on going, and they’re still in the race, but this may be a sign.”
Purdue picked up its first 2014 commit with Walker’s teammate, athlete Brandon Garner, the first week of January. Whether or not Walker will join Garner is still up in the air. Schools such as Nebraska, Maryland and Illinois have shown Walker interest since his sophomore year.
A first-team, all-district linebacker with 4.59-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Walker describes himself as a “very physical” player who can see time on both sides of the ball. In addition to playing linebacker, Walker also lined up as a fullback and is expecting to see more time at running back for his senior year.
Walker added that he likes to pattern his intensity after Ray Lewis.
“I’m not scared of anything, and I’ll hit anything that moves -- on any side of the ball,” Walker said. “Whether I have the ball or I’m tackling someone with it, I love to hit. I think the best part is when I put someone big on their backs. I like hitting 300-pound linemen.”
As for Purdue, Walker said he will keep his phone on. However, if Purdue isn’t in his future, he’s keeping all of his options open.
“I don’t have any new offers, and I haven’t heard from [Purdue],” he said, “but we’ll see how it goes.”