In late August, 5-star DL prospect DeMarcus Walker of Jacksonville, Florida committed to Alabama. Of course many Crimson Tide fans were excited about the commitment, Walker is one of the best prospects in the 2013 class and will help continue the defensive dominance Alabama has had over the past several seasons.
However, there is some cause for concern as Walker could still opt to consider some other schools before he signs with Alabama in February. Which schools could be the in line to change his mind? Where could Walker also be looking to visit?
Let's take a look at Walker and his recruitment.
Walker is a 6'4", 280-pound DL that can play both DT and DE. I think he may fit best as a 30-front DE due to his ability to play big at the point of attack. Walker shows a solid surge at the snap and has great length to get clean from blocks, which will improve with better hand usage.
Strong and stout at the point of attack, Walker flashes flat-back ability and the strength to anchor against blocks in the trenches. With his ability to read the quick scheme, Walker shows great ball location and quickness to close down on ball carriers.
Off the edges, he has good speed to chase down the line from the backside and is a raw pass-rusher. Walker can convert speed to power and has the required punch to challenge a blocker when setting. With college coaching and added pass-rushing skills, Walker's size, speed and strength should make him a very solid DL.
On August 24th, Walker announced that he had committed to Alabama. The trust he has in the school's program, its work ethic and its academics all appealed to him—as did the campus, he told Scout.com.
He'll likely be an end in the Alabama base 3-4 defense and perhaps kick inside to DT when Kirby Smart rotates to a 40-front alignment.
When Alabama won Walker's commitment, the general feeling was that Florida was the runner-up. In fact, with Walker being from Jacksonville, many thought the Gators had the inside track.
Even with his commitment to Alabama, one would doubt that the Gators just back off. Scout.com reports that a trip to Gainesville still could take place at some point before National Signing Day.
Scout.com also lists Auburn as a school that could receive a visit from Walker.
Walker made a trip to Auburn in mid-June of this year and reportedly "loved" it, per Scout.com.
If the Auburn trip impressed him in the early summer, then things may get even more interesting with another great visit on game day.
The Volunteers are also one of the three schools that could still be in play, says Scout.com.
Walker seems to be keen on playing in the SEC and could be set for early playing time should he head to Knoxville.
He would be the headlining recruit for Derek Dooley's 2013 class and join a Tennessee squad that could be back on the ascending track.
As it appears right now, Walker could still change his mind, but I think he sticks with Alabama.
The Crimson Tide may start to sweat a bit if/when he takes his other visits, but it shouldn't be too perfuse. Look for Walker to stick with his Alabama pledge in the end.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.