He's an extremely talented player that will have a chance to make quite an impact on Alabama's defense on any day, and Crimson Tide fans are going to love watching this kid in action on Saturdays.
Here's my complete scouting report of Walker:
- Name: DeMarcus Walker
- Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
- School: Sandalwood High School
- Position: Defensive End
- Height: 6'4'' (Scout.com)
- Weight: 279 lbs. (Scout.com)
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.60 (247Sports)
- Rankings: 5-star (Scout.com), 4-star (247Sports), 4-star (Rivals), 4-star (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
He possesses the size you look for in a defensive end coming out of high school. He has very good quickness, especially off the edge, and he uses his speed well in pursuit of the ball carrier. Walker displays a variety of rush moves, including an inside cut and an effective swim move. He's a very aggressive defender and a solid tackler.
He also does a great job using his hands and getting good leverage against a blocker. He's very proficient when it comes to pushing the edge down when the the running lane is going underneath the tackle. This closes up the gap and forces the runner to either cut back where more defenders are, or kick outside.
He's also strong enough to contain against the edge run. Notice in the picture below how he takes on the block from the tackle with his inside shoulder, thus keeping his outside half free and allowing him to maintain outside leverage.
Walker is then able to get off the block and contain the edge, which will force the runner to have to cut inside, which you can see happening in the second and third picture.
This is an incredible display of fundamentals. His job as an end is to set the edge and force everything back inside to his help, which he did perfectly here. He also was able to come back inside and make the tackle on this play.
There's not a lot of negatives to talk about, and considering he's such a highly ranked recruit that shouldn't be surprising. The one thing that I would worry about as a coach is his aggressiveness. While it's a huge part of his success as a defensive end, at the college level he's going to have to display a little bit more patience and discipline when it comes to getting up field as quick as he does.
If you could rank Walker...
Good teams will trap him, counter him and run draws or screens to his side. He's a natural pass rusher, and the best way to slow down the rush is to utilize those offensive plays. He'll need to learn a little bit more discipline to truly be a complete player at the college level.
Walker is a very naturally talented player who has a great feel for the game of football. He'll have to work on increasing his discipline and knowledge of the offense at Alabama, but that will come by working with their coaching staff and constantly being in the film room.
He has all the physical intangibles and tools that would lead me to believe he can be a star defensive player for Saban and the Crimson Tide.