Chalk this up as an article few were expecting to write today, but at noon, Clayton, North Carolina safety JR Walker decided to commit to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Up until this morning, all the crystal balls for Walker were pointing to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, which is the team that currently has the commitment of his teammate, Savion Jackson. It was almost a fait accompli. But, well…
SO THERE’S THAT THEN. Good. Walker is a pretty highly rated safety, a position of real need for the Hokies especially after Reggie Floyd graduates next year and the somewhat tenuous depth behind him and Divine Deablo. He’s an overall four star by the 247 composite. Rated at an 80 by ESPN (12th state, unranked nationally, 28th safety), a 92 by 247 (6th state, 174th nationally, 9th athlete), and a 5.7 by Rivals (18th state, unranked nationally, 33rd athlete), he balances out to just a tad under a 90 straight up. Other schools outside of NC State and the Hokies that recruited Walker include South Carolina, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Based on interviews, the biggest draws for Walker were the Hokies’ history of producing defensive backs and the gameday atmosphere of Virginia Tech. So again, good.
Alright, long week so I’m ready to watch some game film. Let’s go!
J.R. Walker (Clayton, NC. 6’-1”, 200lbs. Safety)
Walker is a kind of do-everything athlete for Clayton, so I’m only going to review the parts that I think are relevant- defensive and special teams play. Based on what I’m watching, Walker has a good amount of speed- it’s an oddly effortless acceleration more than any kind of sudden burst. He’s got quite good ball skills and is great at pinpointing the ball in the air and disrupting catches as they happen. He’s also not afraid to come up and tackle in the run game, which is always appreciated in this secondary. I like him as a kick or punt returner because he’s just shifty-and-yet-decisive enough that he gains good ground through blocking holes. Downside is he’s more than willing to take risks with mediocre return opportunities. But he’s a tenacious tackler and a good man in coverage. I look forward to seeing his development in maroon and orange.
Have a good weekend everyone, and congratulations to JR Walker. Go Hokies!